Compact Measure Clears First House Committee

Feb 9, 2016

Credit Steven Depolo

The Seminole gaming compact took its next step forward Tuesday. A Florida House committee approved a measure to ratify the gambling agreement. 

The measure approves a move to let Seminole Casinos offer craps and roulette as well as black jack in exchange for 3-billion dollars in revenue sharing over the next seven years. A Senate committee had been scheduled to take the measure up Tuesday as well, but the chair postponed the vote after lawmakers proposed significant changes. House Regulatory Affairs Chair Jose Felix Diaz says it’s not a surprise that the measure will take some time. 

“Do I think this will be one of those bills that we are deciding all the way to the end? I think it certainly could be. I certainly looks and smells like it,” Diaz says.

The House committee also passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voter approval for any future gambling changes. Diaz says with the constitutional amendment the compact measure is likely to pass in the House, but he admits it’s a work in progress.