Extensive expansion of gambling is moving forward in Florida Senate

Extensive expansion of gambling is moving forward in Florida Senate

January 26, 2017 10:05 AM
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Legislation that may mean an extensive expansion of gambling in Florida is moving forward in the Florida Senate.

A Senate committee on Wednesday approved a measure that would legalize fantasy sports and allow the Seminole Tribe of Florida to offer craps and roulette at its casinos. It would also expand the number of slot machines across the state.

State senators scarcely debated the bill (SB 8) sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano R-Bradenton. That’s a sign, according to the Associated Press, that the legislation is a top priority for Senate leaders and could be approved by the full Senate when the session formally starts in March.

Other major proposals to expand gambling have died due to internal discord within the gambling industry over the past few years. It’s unclear if the Florida House will go along, because House Speaker Richard Corcoran has been a staunch opponent to expanded gambling in the Sunshine State.

If approved by lawmakers, the governor, and the Seminole Tribe, the measure "could make a huge difference" to the state budget, which faces a $1 billion revenue shortfall, said Galvano.