Florida Legislature Making ‘Substantial’ Push To Get Gambling Deal Completed In Current Session

by | 04.26.2017 | 2:10pm

Florida’s capitol building in Tallahassee



In a push to finally get a gambling bill approved during the current legislative session, the Florida House of Representatives made a few major offers during a session held Wednesday morning.

The SaintPetersBlog reports that the House has agreed to allow ‘decoupling’, which would permit pari-mutuel racetracks to stop offering live horse or dog racing, but keep their slots licenses if approved by local voters.

Only Calder among Florida’s Thoroughbred tracks would be allowed to decouple, according to current language in the negotiations, which also includes Thoroughbred “purse pools” created through contributions of other gambling entities.

The House bill does not appear to expand slots to eight counties with pari-mutuel wagering (including the flag-drop racing in Gretna and Hamilton county), and where local voters have already approved via referendum. It does permit a new South Florida slots parlor, provided it is at least five miles from an existing casino, and allows the Seminole tribe to add caps and roulette to its seven casinos throughout the state.

The Florida Senate’s gambling bill also permits decoupling but expands gambling dramatically by permitting slots in eight counties north of Dad and Broward counties.

Republican Senator and conference chair Bill Galvano called the House proposal “serious” and “substantial”.

Read more in the SaintPetersBlog