When time runs out in the 60-day session, the Florida Senate will end live races and Jai alai at most gambling venues in the state on Wednesday, putting the state’s outdated regulatory structure under a newly created game. Fees announced ambitious proposals.
The three bills, which the Senate Regulatory Industry Commission will hear on Monday, will create a new regulatory structure that will allow casinos to operate card games without running harnesses, quarter horse races or gyres. We are trying to modernize the changing industry beyond. Arai match, a concept known as decoupling.
The Senate will also establish a five-member Game Rating and Administration Committee, appointed by the Governor and housed in the Attorney General’s office in Florida, to establish an exemption from the new Commission’s official records.
“Like any other industry, we are responsible for updating the laws to reflect the current reality of the industry and ensuring that those laws are properly enforced,” said R-Trilby, President pro tempore Wilton Simpson. Is stated in the following memo. Senator on Wednesday.
The bill is said by some in the industry to be the “Hail Mary Pass” by Simpson, who was struggling to reach his goal of achieving a broader gaming deal with the Seminoles in Florida in this session. Is being considered.
Simpson plans to generate $ 650 million in additional gaming revenue by having the Seminor tribe operate craps and roulette at seven casinos and have an exclusive license to operate online sports betting in exchange for tribal reopening revenue. Wanted to reach an agreement on-sharing payments to the state.
However, these talks have been struggling to reach a conclusion, and Simpson’s more conservative proposal is for the legislative assembly while Governor Ron DeSantis is gaining time to reach an agreement on a game compact with the tribe. Keep the problem alive in the last few weeks.
“Decoupling and Game Rating are two things that the tribes aren’t against, and we think they’re important,” said Senator Travis Hatson of R-St. Augustine, chair of the Senate Regulatory Industry Commission. “I hope the governor and the tribe will work together to resolve the issue and see new progress within 72 hours to a week.”
There is no transaction of Fonten Blow
The proposal does not mention transferring game permits from Broward County to Fontembro Hotel and Resort in Miami Beach, a top priority for real estate tycoon Jeff Sofa. Soffer spent $ 1.1 million on his friendship with his superyacht, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Meet Simpson and Speaker of the House Chris Sprawls to draw new attention to lawmakers’ bids for Miami Beach casinos.
On March 18, De Santis and Simpson told 20 senior officials at casinos, poker rooms, racetracks and Jai alai facilities in Florida that they were “approaching” the game compact, but progress stagnated in the weeks that followed. did. They offered to allow the tribe to offer mobile sports betting, while allowing the state’s existing racetracks and Jai alai frontons to allow betting operations.
However, negotiations are stalled, and some people close to the negotiations will decide how to split sports betting revenue with the parimutuel industry and whether to allow the tribe to set up additional facilities. And he said whether to allow the Parimutuel to continue the designated operation-player game.
The tribe stopped paying the state $ 350 million annually after former governor Rick Scott refused to crack down on Paris Mutual, which runs a designated player game that is a hybrid of blackjack and poker. .. The court said the state allowed tribal competitors to control the game, violating their game compact and demanding that the state give the tribe the exclusive ability to offer blackjack.
The tribe said it would not comment on the negotiations.
DeSantis told reporters last month that he was active in negotiating the New Deal with the tribes. “But at the same time, we are not in a position to desperately need additional income.”
Senate President’s Discussion
In a memo to Senator Wednesday, Simpson acknowledged the difficulty of passing a comprehensive gaming bill. Frustrated lawmakers The last 10 years.
“Florida is a diverse state, and our senators and members have many different opinions, beliefs, and beliefs about the game,” he said. “The facts remain the same. Gaming is a voter-approved industry that has contributed billions of dollars to the education, healthcare and infrastructure economies and has provided Floridian with hundreds of thousands of jobs for nearly 100 years. It was. “
Simpson said it was time to renew Florida game execution. It is now “distributed to Florida cities and counties and is largely entrusted to local law enforcement agencies.”
For years, legislators have considered integrating porosity regulations in the Florida gaming industry. It is currently under the authority of the Governor of the Parimutuel Betting Department of the Business and Professional Regulation Department. However, years of legal decisions and legislative patchwork make it difficult to carry out basic things like drug testing for racehorses.
“Game regulation and enforcement of the law against illegal games not only protects the general public, but also protects the integrity of the industry,” Simpson said in a memo.
Bill, SPB 7076, Grants additional investigative and prosecution authorities to the Legal Affairs Bureau’s state-wide public prosecutor’s office. The new Game Commission will be housed within the Legal Department, but its members will be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature.
The second part of the package could put an end to live racing, a declining segment of the industry. Florida law allows only parimutuel license holders to operate the cardroom, but to maintain that permit, the facility consists of more than 90% of the live performance performed by the facility. You must maintain a complete schedule of live races during the fiscal year in which the cardroom license was issued.
When voters approved Amendment 13 of 2018 to put an end to greyhound racing in Florida, it effectively allowed greyhound tracks to separate their cardroom from live racing. At the Senate’s suggestion SPB 7080The cardroom eliminates the need for Jai alai matches, harnesses and quarter horse races.
Only Thoroughbred Racecourses (Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs) will continue to be needed to run live races, thereby protecting the Florida-based industry. Trilby egg farmer Simpson is considering running for the Agricultural Commission, and the Central Florida horse racing industry relies on horse racing in Florida to sustain it.
“Thoroughbred breeders, owners, trainers, and permit owners believe that maintaining a live race schedule is essential to their industry and long history in our state. Is not included in this law, “Simpson said in a memo.
The Commission will also consider public records and public meeting bills to exempt certain meetings of the Game Management Committee when dealing with active criminal information or active criminal investigation information.
If the bills pass the Senate, they must also pass the House of Representatives. It states that Chair Chris Sprawls is ready to support Simpson’s goals, but does not consider them a top priority. He told reporters last month that the game bill hadn’t passed so far because of so many interlocking parts with conflicting interests during the six years at the State Capitol.
“It’s like the third rail of Congress,” he said.
You can contact Mary Ellen Klas at meklas @ miamiherald.com and @MaryEllenKlas.