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FLORIDA LEGISLATURE POISED TO EXPAND GAMBLING STATEWIDE
SB 2434
AUTHOR: Melanie Elsey
May 01 2007

SUMMARY

On Friday, April 27th, the Florida Senate voted 34 - 5 to approve Senate Bill 2434

  • Dramatically expands gambling in Florida by permitting a total of 48,000 video lottery terminals at the state's 32 pari-mutuel racing facilities.
  • Increases the number of slot machines at Broward County facilities from 1,500 to 2,500.
  • Permits the retailer, not the local community to set the dates and hours during which the VLT's are available for play (not to exceed 16 hours/day).

The five opposing votes were from Senators Baker, Carlton, Storms, Webster, and Wise.

Concerns:

  • VLT's and slot machines are the most addictive form of gambling in the industry.
  • It is anticipated that these machines will raise approximately $2 billion / year for public schools. The statute specifies that 50% of the "net revenues" shall be put in the Education Enhancement Fund. To reach the $2 billion mark, $4 billion must be siphoned out of the pockets of "losers" - every dollar of net revenue represents a dollar lost by the patron. This will harm other parts of the Florida economy.
  • The expected increase in problem and pathological gambling addictions will ruin lives.

On Monday, April 30th, the Florida House Environment and Natural Resources Council voted 12 - 2 to approve HB 1551
The two opposing votes were Representatives Boyd and Nelson.

  • Allows the introduction of a bingo version of VLT's at pari-mutuel facilities located in counties with more than 800,000 residents OR within 40 miles of an Indian casino in operation on or before Jan. 1, 2007.
  • The number of bingo VLT's shall not exceed 1000 per facility.

ACTION

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED - THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF SESSION !

Both bills described above are heading for the House floor. Please contact your Florida State Representative immediately!
Vote NO on SB 2434 as a stand alone bill or amended into another
Vote NO on HB 1551 as a stand alone bill or amended into another
Vote NO on any form of gambling expansion, under the guise of funding schools or economic development.

FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVES CONTACT INFORMATION