SB 7076 also has a provision to replace the Pari-Mutuel wagering overseeing Florida`s Gambling market by a five-member “Gaming Control Commission” which would oversee all of the State gaming activities
As the tenure of the 60-days legislative session of the Florida Senate is nearing its end, Senate president Wilton Simpson announced that the regulated gaming industry would consider SB 7076 and SB 7080 on their Monday meeting. They are also in talks with the Seminole tribe over creating a new gaming Pact.
These bills by the senate regularity commission are being seen as an attempt to modernize the industry by bringing in new regulatory structures that would allow casinos to operate card game or quarter horse races or Jai –Alai matches. The SB 7076 also has a provision to replace the Pari-Mutuel wagering overseeing Florida`s Gambling market by a five-member “Gaming Control Commission” which would oversee all of the State gaming activities. The Seminole tribe members have been taken into confidence by refraining the New commission to engage in Seminole-owned casinos as they are operating in their Sovereign land.
Senate President Wilton Simpson is hoped to reach an agreement with the Seminole tribe to bring in some extra revenue for the state by allowing the Seminole tribe to have an exclusive license to operate online sports betting in exchange for the tribe resuming revenue sharing payment with the state. Simpson also hoped to cash in another 650 million dollar revenue for the state by allowing the Seminole tribe to operate Craps and roulette in their several Casinos.
One of the issues that the Seminole tribe contents are the Pari-Mutuel facilities in Florida that were given the right to offer card games or “designated Player” which was given the exclusive rights to offer Class-III gaming in Florida and a new agreement but the tribe assert that these violate the current gaming agreement. This disagreement has also let the tribe stop paying the state $350 million in annual revenue because they think that favoring other operators loosens their exclusivity.
Though the tribe favors the de-coupling and the gaming commission there are still some disagreements between the tribe and the state governor which need to be resolved on an immediate basis to let the bill progress.
For their continued support of Florida`s racing industry, the card games and slot machines were given as a reward but since in the year 2018, Citizens Voted in favor of banning greyhound racing that has left some of the properties without any prospect of gambling.
SB 7080 would officially let the facilities that used to offer both gambling and racing continue to offer gambling after the racing in the state stops without any other requirements.
Though the lawmakers were also eager to field gambling expansion or legalization of sports betting, none of these legislations seems to pass until a new strong agreement is reached with the Seminole Tribe.
The Bill, SB 7076 also proposes the idea to bring the gaming commission under the Department of legal affairs although the members would be appointed by the governor and re-affirmed by the state senate.
A comprehensive bill according to Senate president Simpson is an urgent need to suit the changing needs of the evolving gaming market of Florida. Gaming, according to the president is a voter-approved industry and has immensely contributed to the economy of Florida either through tax revenues that were later contributed to education, healthcare while also providing thousands of jobs to Floridians over the last century. Therefore a Law with mutual understanding with the tribe and other senators would be passed that could not only bring reform to the industry but also prepare it for future hurdles.