Gov. Crist signs Florida poker limits bill

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Gov. Charlie Crist today signed Senate Bill 622, which eliminates bet and buy-in restrictions and extends operating hours for Florida poker rooms.

The poker changes take effect on July 1, while a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida will take effect after approval from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and publication in the Federal Register.

"Today’s bill signing is the last step in a historic effort that benefits both the Seminole Tribe and the entire state of Florida. Following three years of healthy debate and deliberation, the children and families of Florida are now the beneficiaries of much-needed money that will be used to fund critical needs such as education," Crist said. "With this signing, Florida has the immediate use of $250 million, already on hand, and makes way for even more revenue to meet the needs of our state for decades to come – a total of $1.2 billion during the first five years. I want to thank Senator Dennis Jones and Chairman Bill Galvano for helping secure a favorable compact for the Sunshine State. The compact’s approval is an example of elevating problem-solving over ideology."