Senate to set marathon 4-hour hearing on gambling bill - Florida Politics

Senate to set marathon 4-hour hearing on gambling bill

blackjack

The Senate’s gambling legislation for 2017 will be filed Thursday, according to state Sen. Bill Galvano.

Bet on a lot of talk about it: The Regulated Industries Committee has set aside four hours to discuss it at its next meeting.

A tentative schedule posted Wednesday on the Senate’s website shows its Jan. 25 meeting beginning at 2 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. The committee oversees gambling policy.

Committee chair Travis Hutson, said his members will begin going over the bill being handled by Galvano, one of the lawmakers who helped draft the 2010 Seminole Compact,

The Miami Herald reported late Monday that lawmakers were close to a deal to get approval of a new agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida granting them continued exclusivity to offer blackjack and “banked card games.”

Part of that deal involved “allow(ing) owners of declining pari-mutuels to sell their permits to others who want to install slot machines at newer facilities outside of South Florida,” the paper reported.

Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, has been working on legislation with state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a Miami-Dade Republican and the House’s point man on gambling.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has said “we’re a very conservative chamber, and if something is going to pass … it’s going to have to be a reduction in gambling.”

The deal satisfies that condition, the Herald reported, because it “lead(s) to a net reduction of live, active (dog and horse track) permits throughout the state.”

But gambling opponents are skeptical, saying any new slots outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties would be unconstitutional.

Voters statewide approved an 2004 amendment to the state constitution legalizing slots at existing jai-alai frontons and horse and dog racetracks, but only in South Florida.

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Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

3 Comments

  1. Part of that deal involved “allow(ing) owners of declining pari-mutuels to sell their permits to others who want to install slot machines at newer facilities outside of South Florida,” the paper reported.

    The deal satisfies that condition, the Herald reported, because it “lead(s) to a net reduction of live, active (dog and horse track) permits throughout the state.”

    Okay let me get this straight. If the Para-Mutuals get to sell their racing permits from a declining business and get to install slot machines to increase business where is the reduction in gambling? Who does the math in this State? What they need to do is get a Gaming Commission that knows about gambling inside and out. The law makers obviously know zip because they can’t figure out 2 + 2.

    The State also needs a good Gaming enforcement department. The people in charge now don’t even go after the illegal gaming in the State going on at the racetracks. In New Jersey every one would have been locked up, charged with racketeering, banned from gaming and that would be that. Here in Florida it pays to commit gaming offenses and become wealthy.

  2. you can’t have casino gambling in the Christian family state that would stop family s from moving to florida to get away from northern weather and the state filling there pockets with cash to build new jails to throw you in jail they will never have slots. its a Nazi state no jobs.

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