gambling

Jeff Kubina

Lawmakers have folded on plans to pass a comprehensive gambling overhaul bill this legislative session.

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.

Greyhounds racing
Rainer Hungershausen

A bill that would ban the use of steroids in racing greyhounds is nearing its last hurdle in the Florida legislature.

Ted Murphy

A gambling overhaul bill passed through the full Florida Senate Thursday. Meanwhile the House bill is heading for that chamber’s floor. While leaders say it’s been years since a gambling bill has advanced so far through the process, others point out there’s a long way left to go.

Peeking at cards during a poker game
Michał Parzuchowski / https://unsplash.com/@mparzuchowski

Florida Senators have teed their gambling overhaul bill up for a vote on the floor Thursday .

The full chamber discussed the measure Wednesday. Bradenton Republican Senator Bill Galvano is the bill sponsor. He says each of the provisions in the bill are contingent on one another as well as on the state’s ability to negotiate an agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Greyhounds racing
Rainer Hungershausen

Florida is one of the few states where greyhounds continue to race. While some are pushing for the end of the practice, others counter the industry helps ensure the dogs are well cared for. Now  lawmakers are looking into a measure intended to create more protections for the animals.

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Erich Martin

The price to get your horse a slot at the starting gate in the Pegasus World Cup at Hallandale Beach Florida is a million dollars. The cheapest ticket for standing room in general admission is $100. It’s touted as the richest race in the world and the super bowl of thoroughbreds.

Peeking at cards during a poker game
Michał Parzuchowski / https://unsplash.com/@mparzuchowski

Gambling is shaping up to be a major issue this legislative session. A bill filed in the Senate touches nearly every aspect of the industry from fantasy sports to greyhound racing. And each of those issues carries its own set of implications. For some it’s about finding more money to fund state projects, for others it’s about entertainment or spending time with friends and for those living in the city of Gretna it’s about jobs and a path toward stability.

Deck of cards with Ace of Spades on top
Steven Depolo

An attempt to create a new gambling agreement between the state and Seminole Indian Tribe failed last legislative session, but Florida’s legislative leaders say they’d like to see a compact pass this time around.

Jeff Kubina

The state’s economists are looking into the revenue slot machines are expected to produce this year. Estimators are seeing lower numbers from some locations, including one in Flagler. Chief Economist Amy Baker says that change could be connected to Hurricane Matthew, but that’s not the only explanation.

Ted Murphy

The Senate took its turn talking gaming Wednesday. Lawmakers in the Senate Regulated industries committee passed a measure that would ratify a gambling agreement between Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe along with a larger gaming measure.

Deck of cards with Ace of Spades on top
Steven Depolo

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

Michal Parzuchowski

In an effort to promote a proposed gaming agreement between Florida and the Seminole Indian Tribe, Gov. Rick Scott and representatives from the tribe met Monday. The group discussed the benefits of the compact, which include more money and more jobs, as well as a chance to retain the jobs the Seminole casinos currently provide.

Deck of cards with Ace of Spades on top
Steven Depolo

Florida Governor Rick Scott has hammered out a gaming agreement with the Seminole Indian tribe. The deal includes new games for the tribe and more money for the state. 

Deck of cards with Ace of Spades on top
Steven Depolo

The group “No Casinos” is imploring the governor to stop any gambling expansion connected to efforts to renegotiate a gaming agreement between Florida and the Seminole tribe. The group sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott Wednesday.

Ian Murphy

The banked card game portion of the state’s gambling agreement with the Seminole Indian tribe has expired. And by the end of the month, the agreement stipulates the tribe is supposed to stop all card games like Black Jack. But it might not have to.

In happier times: House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (l) and Sen. President Andy Gardiner (r).
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

The 2015 Florida lawmaking session is getting down to its final weeks, and the stalemate between the Florida House and Senate continues.  It’s said music reflects the mood of the time and there are a lot of correlations between the legislative climate and the soundtracks of life.

Let the games continue!

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming) is pushing for a year extension of an agreement between the Seminole Tribe of Florida  and Florida that gives the Tribe exclusive rights for some games.  

The Seminole Tribe  wants to renew an exclusive gambling contract with the state. The Florida Senate is preparing a plan to extend part of the agreement with the Tribe to allow games such as blackjack at six tribe-owned casinos for another year.

This Sunday, football won't be the only game being played.
John Wardell via Flickr

Across the country this weekend, eyes will be glued to the final football game of the season featuring the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.  And in Florida, Sunday’s Super Bowl is likely to feature beer, potluck tables covered in bizarre dips, and of course, a bit of not-quite-legal gambling.

Capital Report: 03-10-2014

Mar 10, 2014

Hundreds of people marched on the State Capitol this (Monday) morning to protest Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. As Sascha Cordner reports, they were led by the Reverend Al Sharpton and the parents of two slain teens.

A bill that would create a new statewide sex offender task force within the Florida Attorney General’s office got a green light from a House committee today.  But, as Ryan Benk reports, there are those who wonder if another statewide task force is the best way to go.

Advocates for the humane treatment of greyhounds are asking Florida lawmakers once again to remove a state law tying dog racing to gambling licenses. They say the measure should help phase out a pastime that’s already dwindling in popularity.

Current state law requires dog tracks to maintain a steady racing schedule in order to keep their gaming licenses, and then they can offer games like poker.

But on Monday, Cary Theil, executive director of advocacy group Grey2k USA, asked the Senate Committee on Gaming to remove, or “decouple,” the dog-racing requirement.

Capital Report: 08-03-2012

Aug 6, 2012

Florida Education Chief Gerard Robinson has become the latest agency head to resign. Robinson had been on the job for only a year. He’s been under fire for his handling of changes to the state’s FCAT test that resulted in lower grades for students and schools. But his decision to step aside at the end of August is also raising questions about the state’s leadership under Governor Rick Scott—and why more than 10 agency heads have left their jobs.

Seminole Hard Rock Casino

Gambling in Florida takes many forms, whether it’s the state lottery, dog tracks with poker rooms or full-scale resort-casinos. This year, lawmakers tried to create a state gaming commission to regulate all the various options in a more uniform way. At the same time, they tried to invite huge new casinos to Miami. Those measures died, but some policy makers are already planning on how to attack the contentious issue of gambling again, even though the next legislative session is more than half a year away.

Will a recent Supreme Court decision to allow more slot machines in South Florida lead to expansion of gambling throughout the rest of the state? Sascha Cordner delves into a recent decision by the high court to uphold a lower court ruling.

In 2004, Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment that allows several pari-mutuel facilities in South Florida to carry slot machines. That means places, like dog tracks and horse tracks, could now have slots in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Florida Lottery officials say they’re getting ready to roll out hundreds of new full service lottery vending machines that will offer not just scratch off tickets, but other games like PowerBall. The idea is that they’ll help increase sales and raise more money for education. But Regan McCarthy reports there are a few groups asking questions—like how much of that money will make it into the state’s classrooms.

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