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Anti-gambling forces rake in Bondi support

by Dara Kam | December 8th, 2011

Count Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi among anti-gambling forces fighting a proposal to allow three casinos in the state.

Bondi will join a noon press conference hosted by “No Casinos” today, her office announced in a press release this morning.

Even without Bondi’s opposition, the “destination resorts” bill sponsored by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff and Rep. Erik Fresen is facing an uphill battle.

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee wound up its second workshop on the proposal (SB 710) yesterday, logging nearly six hours of testimony in the two meetings.

Near the end of yesterday’s discussion, committee chairman Dennis Jones, who supports the plan conceptually, expressed frustration.

“It seems like more questions are arising every week that we don’t have answers to,” Jones, R-Seminole, said.

Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher, whose committee has to sign off on the bill before it heads to the Senate floor, blasted the measure during yesterday’s meeting.

“I think this legislation is a major change in the culture and brand in the state of Florida and frankly I think it expands gambling to the point where I am concerned about it,” Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, said during yesterday’s meeting.

Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, insists that her bill allowing the three high-end casinos and creating a statewide gambling commission won’t grow gambling in the state but will enable the state to establish a “strategic vision” for gambling.

But she acknowledged she’s got her work cut out for her. Bogdanoff, whose district includes part of Palm Beach County, compared her goal to overhaul gambling in Florida to former Gov. Jeb Bush‘s education reforms.

“It was a holistic view and everybody bought into it,” she said. “I don’t have a popular governor advocating at that level. I’m just a lowly senator from Palm Beach and Broward County.”

Gov. Rick Scott has not said whether he supports the proposal, but has said he does not want the state to be dependent on taxes generated by the casinos.

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5 Responses to “Anti-gambling forces rake in Bondi support”

  1. Downtown Danny Says:

    They claim they want “less government” & “less regulation” – what do they do – give us more of each!
    Adults can make their own decisions on whether to play craps or roulette, we don’t need some government idiot like Pam “Queen of Corruption” Bondi telling use what we can’t do.
    Republicans want government in every doctors office to stop abortion, government in every womans life to stop abortion, in every poor persons life with a drug test, while Republicans like Rush Linbaugh get caught with 3,000 illegal oxys and never spend a minute in jail.
    Republicans claim they want to create jobs – they have blocked every jobs bill in Washington and now they line up to stop good paying full benefit jobs from coming to Florida – all because they think they know what’s “morals” we should all have in our souls based on their interpretation of a 2,000 year old book.

  2. T 4 2, 2 4 T Says:

    What Danny said

  3. Fed Up Says:

    Danny is correct!

  4. TEHO Says:

    WARNING: You are going to get a really BIG surprise if Miami or South Florida gets those BIG casinos in the Destination Resort Bill. Do not make the same mistake in Miami or South Florida ! Please contact all your public government officials and tell them to vote NO against these BIG casinos ! If a Florida Gaming Commission is so important tell them to put it in a separate bill and not in the Destination Resort Bill.

    I was actually there in both Las Vegas, NV and Atlantic City, NJ working for the casinos during the 1970′s when the New Jersey politicians & New Jersey Gaming Commission and the Las Vegas casino executives & owners made a lot of BIG “promises” to the people in New Jersey and Atlantic City about improving their economy, housing and jobs. Guess what ? There is still slums and high unemployment in Atlantic City today 35+ years later while those million dollar casinos are making a lot of money.

    Where were State Sen. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff and State Rep. Erik Fresen who are sponsoring the Destination Resort Bill 35+ years ago ? Why doesn’t State Sen. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff and State Rep. Erik Fresen explain with specific details and numbers in black & white about what actually happened to the economy, housing and jobs in Atlantic City, NJ ? They next need to explain with specific details and numbers in black & white about what should happen to Miami or South Florida ! If not … why not ?

    Please learn who they are and what they really want to do in Miami. I would like to strongly suggest that everyone please do a Google search for both Genting and Colin Au, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

    Here is an example: “ …. Genting also hired a slew of high-priced lobbyists and public-relations consultants. State lobbying disclosure forms list 23 lobbyists working for four different Genting entities. Its competitors are conducting somewhat quieter campaigns. Las Vegas Sands hired eight lobbyists, while Wynn Resorts Ltd., listed as Development Associates in state records, has hired four. Among the heavyweights Genting has enlisted are Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a former congressman, and Harkley Thornton, a close friend of Mr. Cannon, the House speaker. According to state records, the company also has contributed $186,000 to the Florida Republican Party, which controls the legislature and the governor’s office. …” Source: Wall Street Journal 11/29/11.

  5. Downtown Danny Says:

    I worked in Atlantic City Casinos and have many friends there.
    It is a lie to say the city is a slum. It’s no worse than downtown WPB. Most of the workers at the casinos do not live next door to them! They live in the suburbs around AC – like Somers Point, Venter, Margate & Ocean City – these are nice middle class areas.
    The workers at the casinos have 100% free health insurance, a pal of mine who has been a waiter for 25 years has sent his 3 daughters to college – 1 goes to Brown. He has paid off his 4 bedroom home. He has a full pension coming that will pay him $1600 a month at 62 and has over $22,000 in his severance fund.
    Compare that with our local hospitality workers who have NOTHING! No health insurance, no pension, no severance, no job rights at all.
    Local Mom & Pop restaurants have flourished – many pay wages & benefits close to what the casinos pay – thEy can afford it BECAUSE LOCAL WORKERS HAVE MONEY TO SPEND! Local workers for the most part do not spend their money at the casinos – they just work there – they spend AT LOCAL BUSINESSES!

    Stop spreading lies about AC – casinos saved that town and the people who live in the area.

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