Legislature still hasn’t begun conferencing on gambling legislation
Sen. Galvano talking with reporters earlier this week.

Galvano Gaggle

A proposed conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate gambling bills, originally planned for this week, was postponed till next week.

That’s because, as of Wednesday, lawmakers continued to talk with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which has six casinos in the state.

One lobbyist suggested an end game: Passing only a new agreement on exclusive blackjack rights for the Tribe, promising $3 billion to the state over seven years.

Otherwise, the two chambers are at odds, with the House holding the line on gambling expansion and the Senate open to some expansion, including allowing slot machines at pari-mutuels in counties that approved a referendum.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran called a compromise “a heavy, heavy lift” and state Sen. Bill Galvano has said he “couldn’t guarantee we’ll ultimately have a final resolution” this year.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate announced its conference members: Galvano, Lizbeth Benacquisto, Oscar Braynon II, Anitere Flores, Travis Hutson and Perry Thurston.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor 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 [email protected]


One comment

  • Justin

    April 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Yeah that “one lobbyist” must be really crazy or has really bad negotiation skills cause 3 billon for 7 year on blackjack only is a crazy one sided deal that I 110% promise will never be agreed upon. And even if the compact doesn’t get signed this year, a judge already gave blackjack to the seminoles until 2030 no revenue share and also have slots(with revenue share) till 2030. I dont know why the state negotiates like they have cards, they have none. And if they pass the expansion of slots outside of south fl then there goes the revenue share on slots till 2030. The state needs to realize here position and start getting on the ball.

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