House Subcomittee Passes Bill Limiting Gambling Expansion in Florida

The House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee bill, TGC1, sponsored by Representative Mike La Rosa, ensures the Gaming Compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida is renewed. This compact would limit the expansion of gambling in Florida by containing it to tribal lands.

For over 20 years, the Florida Chamber of Commerce has opposed the expansion of gambling in Florida, as we believe it is contrary to our family- friendly brand. “Las Vegas-style” casinos are not the type of economic development Florida needs. Protecting Florida’s unique economy and long-term potential growth, as TGC1 does, will help secure Florida’s future.

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Learn more about why opposing the expansion of Las-Vegas style casino gambling matters to Florida by clicking here.

House Strikes Senate’s Expansion of Gambling

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.

House-Proposed Gaming Compact Protects Florida’s Family-Friendly Brand

For over twenty years, the Florida Chamber has been opposed to the expansion of gambling in Florida, especially “Las Vegas-style” casinos, as we believe it is contrary to our family friendly brand and not the type of economic development our state needs. It is the Florida Chamber’s belief that a renewed state compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is the best way to limit the expansion of gambling in the state, by containing it to tribal lands. We must continue to protect Florida’s unique economy and long term potential growth by rejecting any further expansion of gambling in our state.

The Florida Chamber supports House Bill 7037 and its sponsor, Representative Mike LaRosa, for holding strong against any further expansion of gambling in Florida. The House’s bill stands in contrast to Senate Bill 8, which is sponsored by Senator Bill Galvano and calls for a vast expansion of slot machines and gaming. Both the House and Senate gambling bills were passed out of their respective committees last week. SB 8’s next stop is the Senate floor, whereas HB 7037 has not received its next committee reference yet.

As it has for more than two decades, the Florida Chamber will continue fighting to protect our family-friendly brand by opposing the expansion of Las Vegas-style casino gambling, as is done in SB 8, while continuing to advocate for a renewed Seminole Gaming Compact, as is done in HB 7037.

 

Take Action Now

Click here for more information on the Florida Chamber’s 20-year opposition to gambling expansion in Florida, or contact me at bhunt@flchamber.com.

Florida Chamber Poll Finds Floridians Continue to Support Seminole Compact and Benefits to Florida

An Overwhelming Percentage of Floridians Continue to View the Sunshine State as a “Family-Friendly” Destination

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 7, 2016) – As lawmakers begin making their way to Tallahassee to start the 2016 Legislative Session, a new statewide poll commissioned by the Florida Chamber of Commerce reveals that among those who have heard about it, the Seminole Compact proposed by Governor Rick Scott is overwhelmingly popular.

“Floridians are nearly unanimous in agreeing that our state is a family-friendly tourist destination, and support a continued partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” said Mark Wilson, President of the Florida Chamber. “The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Compact presents Florida with the most reasonable path toward controlled gaming operations that also provide significant economic stability to Florida.”

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, also found that Florida voters respond favorably to the newly proposed Compact. Further, after hearing the details of the proposal, three-fourths of voters in Florida believe the legislature should approve of the new 20-year Compact. This clearly indicates that as voters become more educated as to what is included in this new Compact, public support should increase.

The Compact will result in $3 billion in revenue to Florida over seven years, which is three times the guarantee of the prior Compact.  Additionally, the Compact will not only save 3,500 jobs, but will also generate 15,000 new jobs.

“Our polling continues to find that Floridians are satisfied with the agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and believe the Compact will continue to benefit the State of Florida,” said pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the poll on behalf of the Florida Chamber.  “Once voters hear about this new Compact, it wins broad support across party lines and media markets across the state.”

In December 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced a new Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which is pending approval by the Florida Legislature. The poll asked respondents how they feel about the Compact and whether they believe it is in the state’s interest to approve it.

The poll found:

  • Among voters who have an opinion, by a margin of nearly three-to-one, Floridians believe the Compact has been good for the state.
  • When asked if the agreement between the state and the Tribe has been mostly good for the state, mostly bad for the state or somewhere in-between, fully 30% of Floridians say it’s been mostly good, 11% say it’s been mostly bad, and 54% say it’s “somewhere in between.”
  • By a wide 38%-11% margin, Florida voters believe the Seminole Tribe kept their end of the agreement with the state to provide a minimum of $1 billion over five years in revenue.
  • Fully 95% of Florida voters say that they consider the state’s entertainment options to be “family-friendly.”
  • When asked whether the opportunities for gambling in the state should be expanded, reduced or kept at about the same level, the number of Florida voters who opt for keeping them at about the same level outnumber those who want an increase or a decrease by about two-to-one. (Keep them the same – 53%, expand – 27%, reduce – 19%).

The poll was conducted December 28-30, 2015 and has margin of error of +/- 3.7% in 95 out of 100 cases.

Please click here to see addendum for question wording and responses, and click here for crosstab information.

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