House Panel Approves, but a Senate Committee Postponed Considering Gambling Bills
In a positive move on Tuesday by the house panel regarding a bunch of gambling bills, it seems clear that a $3 billion deal will be struck between the Seminole Tribe and the state. This move also means to finish off greyhound racing, but to continue with dog tracks as operational. It also indicates that slot machines will now be functional in Palm Beach County. However, a Senate committee is supposed to cast their vote on the gambling legislation, but now has postponed their decision to do so. Joe Negron has also come up with a bunch of amendments that have scope to change the proposal. He has submitted these amendments way in advance.
Bradley R-Fleming Island said in a statement that he had received several requests from various members from the committee to give them more time to think about the amendments because they do not want to feel rushed while making the decision. He further states that it seems correct as the issue is relatively large and cannot be rushed into. Rob Bradley who is the Senate Regulated Industries Chairman also agrees to the fact that it is a big decision and has eventually delayed the discussion on gambling bills. This is again done to give the panel some more time to think about the proposal put forward by Negron as it is described as being complicated.
The House Regulatory Affairs Committee has given their nod for three measures when it comes to gambling. The first one aims to allow Seminoles to include roulette and craps for their casino-related operations. Furthermore, this will be in return for $3 billion that the company plans to pay to the state over a period of seven years.
The second measure include excluding dog racing from greyhound tracks, but at the same time maintaining other kinds of pari-mutuel operations underway. This process is called decoupling.
Moreover, another proposal was approved regarding the amendment in the constitution that will give the voters a chance to figure out for themselves whether they want gambling active or not. It will be up to the audience to figure out whether gambling should expand or remain the way it is. Bradley had made it clear that he was going to postpone the Senate’s bills and it was then that Jose Felix Diaz, who is the House Regulatory Affairs Chairman, had planned to keep the voting going.
Diaz, R-Miami said that it seems that every week that we do not have a bill, it means that we have the bill dying that week as well. He goes a step further and comments that it seems like the sort of bill that will be decided upon at the very last minute. The session is supposed to end on March 11, and Diaz and Bradley believe that they have more than enough time to make a decision in front of the Legislature.
Bradley speaks his mind and says that nearly all the challenges are the same that crept months ago.