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Florida Lawmakers Fold on Gambling Expansion Deal

The latest poker news from, featuring top stories from around the gambling industry.

Florida Lawmakers Fold on Gambling Expansion Deal

After meeting on Tuesday Florida lawmakers have decided to fold on the gambling expansion deal. Senator Bill Galvano declared the deal between the Senate and House of Representatives “dead” three days before the end of the 60-day session.

Instead of continuing negotiations through the Friday deadline, lawmakers have decided to scrap months of work on gambling legislation, declaring an impasse with no hope of resolution.

“We just couldn’t get it across the finish line,” said Representative Felix Díaz. He points to the issue of slot machines at dog and horse racing tracks as the deal-breaker.

While the House had proposed a ban on any additional slot machines in the state, the Senate was adamant that the eight counties where voters had authorized slots should be allowed to have them. The House was also pushing to take designated-player games away from pari-mutuels by reversing the court rulings that allowed them.

Other tentative gambling plans died along with the deal between the Senate and House, such as Genting’s plan to build a new casino at the former site of the Miami Herald, and the plan to allow dog and horse racing tracks to abandon animal races and continue operating as slot casinos.

Now these major gambling decisions will be left to the Florida Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on several gaming-related cases soon. One upcoming case would allow slot machines at a horse racing facility in Gadsden County without action or approval from the legislature.

This and other judicial decisions could impact the state’s ability to renew a compact with the Seminole Tribe.

Bob

Hailing from Wisconsin but arriving in Las Vegas in 1995, I'm better known at various US online poker rooms under the pen name "OreoBob" and "SoyFlush". I'm an avid poker player and editor-at-large who has contributed as a freelance writer for diverse national and international iGaming publications since 2004.