Florida would maintain casino laws

The casino and betting industry in Florida State will keep operating under the same conditions with the approval of a new law.

US.- The Senate of Florida will be debating this year two parallel gaming bills, both proposing opposite measures. Whilst this week HB 7037, which would maintain the current status quo in the local industry, was passed, legislators are assessing a project to expand gaming operations both on land-based venues and online platforms.

Last Tuesday, the regional House Of Representatives’ Ways And Means Committee voted 11-7 the approval of the gaming bill that would keep the existing structure and functioning of the State’s industry. HB 7037 was introduced by the Republican Representative Mike La Rosa. Democratic officials rejected the measure.

La Rosa’s bill will now face a new ballot by the full chamber in Tallahassee. The complete approval is likely to be set in the following months, due to a general opposition against the gaming industry in Florida. According to a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, only eight percent of resident voters would support the expansion of gambling in the state.

Under the new law, the Seminole tribe of Florida will maintain an extended agreement with the government and will exclusively operate the blackjack tables in Miami-Dade County and Broward County. The upgraded contract would fix the legal battle against the State of Florida and the native tribe, which has been held for the last few years.

Furthermore, the government would allow the installation of further slot machines and table games at authorised tribal casino, in exchange of a US$75 million increase in the current tax arrangement. Florida would receive in total US$325 million. However, pari-mutuel operations would be banned. “Unfortunately, both the Florida State Senate and Florida House Of Representatives bills would require dramatic increases in the Seminole Tribe Of Florida’s payments without providing increases in the Seminole Tribe Of Florida’s exclusivity sufficient to justify those higher payments,” expressed Marcellus Osceola, Chairman for the Seminole Tribe Of Florida in a letter to Florida’s Governor Rick Scott.