No gambling deal will pass this legislative session. Lawmakers announced plans Tuesday to dissolve their conference on the issue. Representative Jose Diaz led the House’s side of the negotiations. He says a move to let eight new counties operate slot machines was a main sticking point.
“We were far apart on a lot of things. We were not on the same page on effective date or on Bingo or on blackjack. But referendum counties was the big divide,” Diaz said.
The eight counties have held local referendums supporting slot machines at local pari-mutuels, but the state denied the facilities licenses to operate the machines. The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments in the case and a ruling is pending. Diaz says there’s a chance a ruling in favor of the pari-mutuels could cause lawmakers to reconvene for a special session.