House Strikes Senate’s Expansion of Gambling

By: Brittney Hunt

Protects Florida’s Family-Friendly Brand

For more than 20 years, the Florida Chamber has opposed the expansion of Las Vegas-style casino gambling and harming Florida’s family-friendly brand. This week’s action by the Florida House sends a message that Florida needs more engineers, physicians and teachers – not more blackjack dealers.

The Florida Chamber has long said that a new state compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is the best way to limit the expansion of gambling in Florida and contain it to tribal lands. The Florida Chamber strongly supports the House’s proposed gaming compact, sponsored by Representative Mike La Rosa, which holds strong against any further gambling expansion. The Senate’s counterpart legislation, SB 8, which is sponsored by Senator Bill Galvano, called for a vast gambling expansion and was sent to the House following Senate passage last week. Showing strong conviction, Rep. La Rosa struck the Senate’s gaming expansion proposal and replaced it with the much more favorable House bill (HB 7037), which calls for a renewed state compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The House will now send their revised version of SB 8 back to the Senate for consideration, along with a message that protecting Florida’s unique quality of life is a top priority. It is expected the bill will be discussed during conference in the next few weeks.

The Florida Chamber remains steadfast in our support for making Florida more competitive for businesses and families. By supporting the provisions as originally outlined in HB 7037, and now in SB 8, this bill will help ensure Florida’s family-friendly brand continues to play a role in Florida’s long-term economic security.

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For more information about where the Florida Chamber stands on these and other gaming-related issues, click here or contact me at bhunt@flchamber.com.