Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Hearsay is generally inadmissible in a court of law. But it can be juicy.
Take this extended morsel, tucked into a filing at the Division of Administrative Hearings in a case lodged by The Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA) against the state over Calder Casino’s gambling permit.
The horse industry is in a battle for its life as track owners seek to get rid of live racing but hold on to lucrative games like slots and poker.
Here’s the thing: Dog and horse tracks in Florida generally are required to keep running live races to have slots and card games that usually make facilities more money. Calder, a Hallandale Beach facility that holds a limited schedule, is trying to ditch horse racing entirely to switch to jai alai.
It’s not alone, the FHBPA says.
“The FHBPA has heard that two other permitholders that operate slot machines in Broward County, i.e., the Mardi Gras greyhound track (now called “The Big Easy Casino”) and The Isle harness horse track (a.k.a “Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park”), either are considering or are intending to seek summer jai alai permits with the further intent to effectuate a permit swap to summer jai alai without impacting their respective slot machine licenses.
“If those permitholders are also able to swap their longstanding permits for a summer jai alai permit, then of the seven permitholders in Miami-Dade and Broward that are authorized to conduct slot machine gaming under … the Florida Constitution, six of the seven permitholders will become either jai alai permitholders or summer jai alai permitholders.
“Obviously, the switch to jai alai is not because of the popularity or profitability of jai alai; wagering records … demonstrate how extremely unpopular betting on jai alai games has become.
“Instead, it is the FHBPA’s position that the permitholders’ desire to switch to summer jai alai is caused exclusively by the fact that summer jai alai operations require the least amount of infrastructure and the least amount of dedicated real property and employ the cheapest form of labor—all of which results in the least amount of slot machine profits being spent by the permitholder to achieve the minimum pari-mutuel gaming activity necessary to satisfy the ‘live racing or games’ requirement for slot machine licensure.”
We called spokespeople for both The Big Easy and the Isle Casino — and got no response.
“‘Mr. President. SHUT UP’: Florida Republicans pan Donald Trump’s Puerto Rico conspiracy” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida
“Bill Nelson is still dodging on Brett Kavanaugh” via Pam Bondi for the Washington Examiner
“Morning Joe mocks Ron DeSantis for ducking tough questions on Florida issues” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times
“What Andrew Gillum’s trip to New York City means in the FBI investigation” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times
“Andrew Gillum releases first TV ad recalling ‘grandmother’s voice’” via Ryan Nichol of Florida Politics
“Ron DeSantis fundraising in Coral Gables next week with Jeb Bush” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald
“Republican group condemns Mike Hill’s primary campaign calling it ‘deceitful’ and ‘sexist’” via Jim Little of the Pensacola News Journal
“SEIU Florida announces $5M spend on November election campaigns” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald
“David Hogg, Emma González to headline voter registration rally in Tampa Saturday” via Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times
“State finance problems loom as next Governor comes into office” via Diane Rado of the Florida Phoenix
“Florida trade mission to Dominican Republic organizing” via the staff of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“Brightline charges on despite effort to stop the train” via Mike Sinan of Florida Daily
“Soaring stock makes Darden Orlando’s first $15 billion company” via Kyle Arnold of the Orlando Sentinel
“Miami Beach could soon arrest people operating Airbnb-like rentals without a license” via Kyra Gurney of the Miami Herald
Quote of the Day
“I went back to work the next morning. There’s lots to be done.” —Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who lost this year’s Republican primary for Governor.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
Statewide candidates and political committees face a Friday deadline for filing reports showing finance activity through Sept. 7.
The State Board of Education will meet in Collier County and take up numerous issues, including a 2019-2020 budget request for the education system. That’s at 8:30 a.m., Collier County School Board, 5775 Osceola Trail, Naples.
A symposium will be held in Hillsborough County about sex trafficking in schools. That’s at 8:30 a.m., Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, Auditorium, 4001 West Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa.
The Joint Legislative Budget Commission, made up of House and Senate leaders, will receive a presentation about the state’s new “Long Range Financial Outlook.” The annual document analyzes past spending and future needs. That’s at 11 a.m., 412 Knott Building, the Capitol.