Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that a bill that would allow for three Las Vegas-style casino resorts in South Florida will be tough to pass in the 2012 legislative session.
The casino bill filed by state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, and Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, would establish a department of gaming control, and would amend more than two dozen statutes and create more than 30 other statutes to regulate gaming in Florida.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday that Scott said: ”I think it’s going to be tough to get a gaming bill passed just because of the money the state gets out of the Seminole Compact, the fact that you have exist gaming from the parimutuels and how are they going to get treated.”
The Seminole Compact is an agreement signed in 2010 between Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe that regulates Seminole gaming activity — which includes slot machines, card games, raffles, drawings and bingo.
Scott added that if the casino bill makes it through the Legislature it should include a referendum, because “local communities should be deciding whether they want gaming in their area, so they can decide what they think of it, if they think there is going to be any social issues.”
According to No Casinos, “the bill does not require a referendum in Dade or Broward—relying instead on the slots referenda as proof of public approval. That is like saying if a neighborhood approves of a 7-11 at the corner then it’s safe to assume they will support putting the Mall of the Americas at the end of their street, too.”
No Casinos, opposed to the Bogdanoff/Fresen bill, counts among its supporters the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Attractions Association, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Florida Retail Federation.
The bill has the support of Associated Industries of Florida, Associated Builders and Contractors, the Florida Concrete Products Association, the Florida United Business Association, the Florida Transportation Association, the Latin Builders Association and other groups.
Associated Industries launched an ad campaign supporting what they call destination resorts this week, and also runs an online campaign, More Jobs for Florida, ”dedicated to the destination resort issue.”