Florida gaming laws could soon be updated as the state seeks to receive more money from casinos.
US.- Florida legislation could soon be changed in order to bring more money from the Seminole Tribe’s casinos to the State. In exchange for more money from thre tribe, the State would add craps and roulette to their gaming venues.
Florida is aiming to get more money from the tribe after a federal court ruled it could stop annual revenue-saharing payments to the state nearly US$250 million. The ruling came in a dispute over “designated player games” operated outside casinos.
However, in order to change legislation the state needs to overcome some specific issues, such as the hiring of the brother of House Speaker Richard Corcoran as one of the head lobbyists for Jeff Soffer. The businessman aims to buy the Mardi Gras Casino and Race Track in Hallandale Beach and his plans may interfere with lawmaking in the state.
Furthermore, slot machines at pari-mutuels in counties were their installment was approved is another point of conflict, as the Florida Supreme Court ruled they are not authorized to install the games without legislative approval.
Monday The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax unanimously approved SB 840, which would renew the 2010 gaming agreement between the state and the tribe, allowing them to add craps and roulette at the Hard Rock casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, along with the tribe’s five other casinos located around the state. In exchange, the tribe would pay as much as US$400 million annually to the state — up from the current figure of around US$250 million.
Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast, the sponsor of the Senate gambling bill, said: “This could be our last possible chance to regulate gaming as a legislative body, and the fiscal implication is hundreds of millions of dollars a year.”