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Keith Perry revives lottery bill warning Floridians to ‘play responsibly’

Perry joins state Rep. Will Robinson, who has filed a version of the bill in the House.

Republican State Sen. Keith Perry has renewed an effort to place warning labels on Florida Lottery games which will urge participants to “play responsibly.”

Perry filed the legislation (SB 1318) ahead of the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session. He’s attempted to shepherd similar bills into law before, dating back to 2017.

And the effort has been successful — but only in the Legislature. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a version of the bill back in 2017. Following the 2019 Session, Gov. Ron DeSantis also used the veto power to reject the legislation.

Now, Perry is back to try again. He joins state Rep. Will Robinson, who has filed a version of the bill in the House (HB 991).

The measures require the “play responsibly” message to be printed on the lottery ticket and take up at least 5% of the ticket’s total surface area.

That’s a reduction from previous proposed warning messages, which were more detailed and took up more space on those tickets.

The legislation also mandates the message be displayed in TV, electronic or paper ads, with the same requirement that the message take up 5% of the surface area of the advertisement. For radio ads, the warning must be issued at the end of the promotion.

Both new bills include a provision barring lottery games that are tied to athletic events.

“The [Department of Lottery] may not authorize the operation of a lottery game in which the winner is chosen on the basis of the activities or outcomes of one or more sporting events,” the bill reads.

Finally, the legislation would require $500,000 annually for an advertising program warning against gambling addiction.

“The department shall, subject to competitive bidding, contract for such services, which must include an advertising program to encourage responsible gambling practices and to publicize a telephone help line,” the measure reads.

If approved, the measure would take effect on July 1, 2020. The requirement to include a message of “play responsibly” in advertisements would not kick in until Jan. 1, 2021. That message must be printed on the tickets themselves by Jan. 1, 2022.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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