House gambling bill shuns destination casinos

Casino gambling and Rep. Rob Schenck
Casino gambling and Rep. Rob Schenck

The Florida House version of a gambling bill does not include Las Vegas-style destination casinos.

Instead, the measure focuses on getting rid of inactive pari-mutuel licenses and forming a gambling oversight board, News Service of Florida reported. The 411-page House bill, sponsored by Rep. Rob Schenck of Spring Hill, was introduced on Monday. Schenck is the chairman of the House Select Committee on Gaming.

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A proposed constitutional amendment requiring voter approval for any gambling expansion could be introduced by the House as well. The current Senate proposal does include a destination casino license in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

An existing gambling compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida expires next year. Gov. Rick Scott has not announced whether he expects to complete negotiations on a new deal with the tribe before the end of this year’s Legislative Session. [News Service of Florida]Eric Kalis