Florida Senate allows gaming expansion

Florida lawmakers will carry out a meeting to debate the gaming bill.
Florida lawmakers will carry out a meeting to debate the gaming bill.

Casino and gaming industry in Florida would be expanded by a new regulation that is going to be discussed by legislators.

US.- Florida is showing first signs of changes in gaming regulations as the Senate passed yesterday the gaming bill that would expand the casino and racing industries in the State. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have moved forward with gaming proposals and Florida legislators are carrying out a meeting next week to deepen the debate.

This week the Florida Senate already set a preliminary approval for the Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Senator Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton. Yesterday the full chamber decided to pass the project that would allow pari-mutuels in eight Florida counties. However, the House of Representatives is assessing another bill that limits the casino expansion.

Officials agreed on holding a gaming conference to add several amendments on the casino and racing law, which would determine if the expansion to Miami-Dade and Broward counties with new betting centres and slot operations would be approved or not. Experts on the field believe Florida is close to set a new regulation to control and expand the gaming industry in the State.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a gaming bill on the floor since 2010,” told to Miami Herald Senator Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, hours before the final vote. And he added: “Something’s happening.” The Senator also expects that the new law would generate US$525 million for the government under tax conditions.

On the other hand, the House project, PCB TGC 17-01, would grant the Seminole native tribe further rights of casino operations and exclusive permissions to slot machines installations outside of Miami-Dade and Broward, as well as blackjack tables at the six Seminole South Florida casinos. The bill establishes that the tribe would have to pay the government US$3 billion over seven years.