Debate on controversial bill postponed in Florida

Two committees are discussing a bill regarding the Seminole tribe’s compact and a polemical “decoupling” proposal.

US.- The Senate Regulated Industries Committee and the House Regulatory Affairs Committee are currently discussing gambling legislation in Florida. The Senate’s committee postponed a debate regarding the Seminole Indian compact, proposing a bill that would ratify the agreement next week. In the meantime, the House committee proposed a different version of the bill.

This legislation has become highly controversial for including a “decoupling” proposal that would allow some pari-mutuel facilities to retain their licenses and to operate casino-type games whilst shuttering their racing operations down. The money derived from a tax break on slot machines at pari-mutuel tracks will be allocated to a purse fund for Thoroughbred horses. The state’s Thoroughbred industry opposes the proposal, as horsemen and breeders believe any allowance for decoupling at pari-mutuel tracks will threaten the viability of the Thoroughbred industry in the future.

The Senate committee’s decision to postpone this debate, will favour further negotiations regarding the bill legislation in the next few weeks.