Since the news broke that the Florida Governor and the Seminole Tribe reached a $3 billion compact for gaming in the state, Senator Maria Sachs has decided the state needs to create a gambling commission. On Monday, Sachs filed legislation to propose a commission, consisting of five members, to be appointed by the governor. The bill would create a Department of Gaming, which would oversee all activity of gaming entities within the state.
Sachs stated that there is a ‘compelling need’ for a gaming commission as well as a department of gaming to be created. The function of said groups would be to oversee the gaming of the state in regards to the operators as well as regulate operations, enforce gaming laws and audit proceeds from the operations of gambling.
The state currently has different agencies that work to oversee the industry. Lottery gaming is overseen by the Department of Lottery while registration and particular gaming promotions are overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Pari-mutuel wagering is covered by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation as are slot machines and card games. This department is also the one responsible for overseeing the state’s Indian gaming compacts.
The proposal for the new agency would combine the duties of all the above departments into one group. There have apparently been other proposals to create such a commission but the proposals failed to move forward. However, government officials seem to be on board with the proposal, so it would not be surprising to see the measure pass to help regulate the gaming industry within the state.