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Florida Gets Another Gambling Bill Proposal

- February 23, 2017 By Riley Wilson -

Second gambling proposal on the way to the Senate in Florida.

Florida could introduce much stricter gambling legislation, which would interfere with the potential gambling expansion, according to the latest reports.

After State Senator Bill Galvano proposed SB-8 in January, a new proposition is in play and last week it entered the House of Representatives.

What is PCB TGC 17-01 All About?

PCB TGC 17-01 is a far more conservative than Galvano’s proposition, and in certain aspects offers completely opposite legal solutions.

The good thing is the Sunshine State can expect the long awaited gambling reforms in the following months, with the possibility that both proposals find their way to the Legislature.

But what does PCB TGC 17-01 offer? First of all, the House-sponsored bill promises to end the legal strife between the State and the Seminole Tribe. The Native American people of Florida held exclusive rights to provide blackjack at its casinos until 2015, but kept the tables afterwards, having accused Florida of breaching the contract which was signed five years earlier.

According to these allegations, the State allowed other operators to provide table games. The quarrel has been going on for almost two years.

According to PCB TGC 17-01, the Tribe will remain the exclusive blackjack provider over a seven-year period, but will be obligated to pay the state $3 billion. On the other hand, SB 8 doesn’t offer the blackjack exclusivity to the Seminoles, but it does allow them to provide other table games, including roulette and craps.

Two Bills on the Way to the Senate

Although the House-proposed bill comes as an almost exact opposite to the Sen. Bill Galvano sponsored SB 8, the mere fact that two legislations may reach the Legislature before the session begins in early March has been read as a good sign for the possible implementation of any gambling reforms.

The biggest differences in these two proposal concern the proposed addition of slot machines in eight counties, with House-proposed bill banning the expansion, although it had already been approved by the counties.

If adopted, PCB TGC 17-01 will also ban state pari-mutuels from offering any banked table game.

Still there is a long way before either one of the two proposed bills reaches the Senate, but if they do, we could see them in the Legislature as early as March.

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