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Florida House Committee Approved New Gambling Bill

Florida Gambling Bill

The Florida House Finance & Tax Committee approved HB 1233 which centers around allowing greyhound tracks to retain and expand profitable gambling activities like poker rooms and slot machines.

Bill’s Details

The measure would allow greyhound tracks in South Florida to provide both racing and slot/poker gambling, as well as allow the tracks to end greyhound racing altogether. But local “racinos” – pari-mutuel gambling facilities that have poker rooms and slot machines as well – are opposed the Bill. According to Donn Mitchell, Isle of Capri chief administrative officer, it would permit some specific providers to have legal advantages regarding other competitors.

At the same time, animal rights groups have given their support for the Bill, which would require tracks to report any greyhound injuries. According to Republican Jared Moskowitz, the plan could humanely put an end to an unpopular activity. Moskowitz said that he has seen dogs racing in stands for 5,000, but which have only a dozen people watching. According to News Herald, he described the Bill as a battle of morals.

Further Steps

The HB1233, sponsored by House Majority Leader Dana Young, seems unlikely to be approved by the House, however. According to Rob Bradley, Chairman of the Regulated Industries, it is premature to consider any other issue before answering the question of whether to grant the Seminole Tribe upscale rights to casino card games. This deal expires on June 30. Negotiations with the tribe stalled, so Bradley proposed a further year expansion of the agreement.

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