The uncertainty regarding the future shape of gambling in Florida reportedly took another turn late last week after a local Republican lawmaker filed proposed legislation that would allow the southern state’s aboriginal casinos to offer roulette and craps.

According to a report from the Miami Herald newspaper, the measure filed by Florida State Senator Travis Hutson on Friday would also renew a portion of the state’s 2010 gaming compact with the casino-operating Seminole Tribe of Florida that allowed the federally-recognized tribe to offer ‘banked’ card games such as blackjack on an exclusive basis.

In return, the proposed Senate Bill 840 would up the annual payments to the state from the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s seven casinos, which include the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa, by as much as 56% to around $391 million.

If ratified, Senate Bill 840, which is now being considered by a Florida State Senate committee, would additionally reportedly permit dog and horseracing tracks as well as jai alai venues in the state to ‘de-couple’ from a requirement that they must run live sporting events in order to hold a parimutuel license. In addition, the proposed legislation would purportedly drop the tax rate for casinos in Miami-Dade County and Broward County to 30% before reducing it by a further 5% next year.

Finally, Hutson’s proposal would reportedly moreover require horseracing facilities that continue to offer gambling without running live races to carry on making payments to the state’s thoroughbred industry while explicitly legalizing of daily fantasy sports and permitting designated-player games already offered by some parimutual card rooms.

According to a report from The Associated Press news service published by The Ledger newspaper, the Florida House of Representatives is soon set to consider its own fresh proposed legislation on gambling. However, its House Bill 223 is purportedly likely to feature ‘major differences’ when compared with Senate Bill 840 with both bodies having only until early-March to reach a compromise.

2 Responses

  1. Mickey Krause

    The Seminoles have a monopoly on casinos… especially in the Tampa Bay area. I would hope the state does not renew their compact with the Seminoles. It gives them the exclusive rights to a Casino in our area and allows for no competition. This is not fair to the patrons to only have One Game in Town. We want to see other Casinos in our area so we have a choice. Please do not pass this bill!

    Reply
    • Parsla Burns

      Correct! Let’s allow places like Ebro Park to build a Casino for us on the Panhandle……near Panama City Beach! Good for the Economy there and good for area tourism. I am a Florida resident that would like to see some adult entertainment here as well as all the family fun. Visitors sometimes pass us up for southern Florida because there is not enough to do unless you 12-25 years old. Traveling to Biloxi is getting old!!!

      Reply

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