Eight Florida lawmakers have signed up to attend this weekend’s meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The three-day conference, to include a keynote address from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, is being held at the 4-star Hotel Valley Ho.
On the RSVP list:
— State Rep. Halsey Beshears, a Monticello Republican. His district includes the old Jefferson County Kennel Club, a track that once offered greyhound racing and poker but is now closed.
— State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a Miami-Dade Republican. He chairs the House Commerce Committee, which oversees gambling policy.
— State Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican. Galvano has long been involved in gambling issues, having helped draft the 2010 Seminole Compact, the gambling agreement between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state.
— State Rep. Joe Geller, an Aventura Democrat. He’s the Democratic Ranking Member of the House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee.
— State Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat. She’s a member of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee, which oversees gambling-related legislation.
— State Rep. Mike LaRosa, a St. Cloud Republican. He chairs the House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee.
— State Rep. David Richardson, a Miami-Dade Democrat.
— State Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat. He’s also a member of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee, and is chair of the Council’s Committee on State-Federal Relations. He will lead a panel on “Jurisdiction, Legality over Emerging Forms of Gambling,” including daily fantasy sports.
A disclosure on the Council’s website says the conference is “organized and produced” by New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming Group. The consulting firm won a $400,000 contract in 2013 to study the “present and future effects of gambling in Florida.”
One of its early findings: Gambling will keep growing with or without direction from lawmakers, because Florida already is a big gambling state.