BY BUDDY NEVINS
During his seven years in the House, Broward State Rep. Jim Waldman has railed against bills being rushed through the Legislature.
So it was no surprise that Coconut Creek Democrat was the only vote on the House Gaming Committee against the bill to ban Internet cafes, adult game rooms and maquinitas.
Waldman received the 28-page bill just hours before the meeting.
The committee vote was 15-1.
Jim Waldman: Votes Against Bill Being Rushed
After years of inaction, the House hastily drafted the gambling ban in the wake of a federal investigation that prompted this week’s resignation of the lieutenant governor.
“It’s a knee jerk reaction,” Waldman complained.
“…Many of the people impacted by this bill weren’t even aware they were in it,” Waldman told the committee. “I’ve made it a habit when I think these bills are not ready for the floor to vote against them. I’m going to vote against this today.”
After assuring the room full of gaming lobbyists that he was a supporter of pari-mutuels and casinos, Waldman implored the House to explore regulating the whole range of gambling that currently fall through the cracks in Florida’s laws.
He mentioned Internet poker and sports betting, plus the cafes, game rooms and maquinitas.
Broward’s other committee member, state Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, voted for the bill.
The full House is expected to consider the bill next week.