Gambling expansion “not in the cards,” Senate toldby John Kennedy | April 3rd, 2014
Senate Gaming Chairman Garrett Richter addressed the Senate Thursday, telling his colleagues that proposals to revamp gambling in Florida are dead for this session.
Although the session has just passed its midpoint, Richter said what had become increasingly clear: There are just too many moving parts to the issue.
“Comprehensive reform is not in the cards this session,” Richter, R-Naples, told the Senate.
In an election year, keeping alive prospects for opening new casino resorts in South Florida, additional card rooms at pari-mutuel facilities, and other sweeteners, has been a surefire way to assure that campaign contributions flow from gambling companies to lawmakers and the state’s political parties.
But central to any idea is Gov. Rick Scott reaching agreement on renewing the Seminole Tribe compact that is set to expire next year. Scott has been talking to the tribe. But the status of the talks have been closely guarded.
Richter fed into that murkiness Thursday.
“We can reasonable expect an agreement soon,” Richter said, although not offering any further details.
But for now, all bets are off.
“This is nothing that’s going to be accomplished by one committee in one session,” said Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, vice-chair of the Senate’s gambling plan.