Jockeying Underway For Expanded Gambling


Some issues never go away, especially in Tallahassee where debating them endlessly results in beaucoup campaign contributions.

Gambling is on the agenda again in the Legislature, just like it has been off-and-on for decades.

The fight will be between the pari-mutuels and hotel interests.

There is also a fight brewing between various groups of hotel owners, who each want permission for casinos but don’t particularly want the competition from anybody else.  The Florida Clarion website outlines one of these deals today.

The idea being kicked around is to create destination resorts, similar to the Seminole’s Hard Rock, in counties across the state.  Each county would hold a referendum to see if residents want to allow gambling.

One proposal floated slaps a $5-$10 million upfront non-refundable application fee on any potential casino operator. There would be no guarantee of approval for that money.

That would buy a lot of school books!

The spinoff would be tens of thousands of jobs and new customers for small businesses.  If you don’t believe gambling creates economic activity, just visit the Hard Rock outside of Hollywood.  It is the most happening place in South Florida.

Left behind will be the pari-mutuels.  Their experiment in gambling is largely viewed as a failure in Tallahassee.  The pari-mutual racinos are second-rate compared to the Seminoles’ first class resorts.

Key legislators see non-Indian owned casinos like the Hard Rock springing up across Florida.

The exclusive multi-million dollar deal with the Seminoles might have to be tanked.  But all these new casinos will be paying taxes.unlike the Seminoles.

Public employees and their beef with Gov. Rick Scott is getting all the attention. It will probably end up the most public fight of the Legislative session starting next month.

Nobody really makes money from the pension issue.  The real money and the deal that $5,000 suits are whispering about in the Capitol stairwells are casinos.

The jockeying has already begun for pieces of the biggest prize of all — expanded casinos in Florida.

10 Responses to “Jockeying Underway For Expanded Gambling”

  1. Oodles says:

    If you don’t believe gambling creates economic activity, just visit the Hard Rock outside of Hollywood.

    Buddy: Are you referring to all those pawn shops along State Rd. 7?
    Yeah, that’s just the kind of new business we need.


    U. S. 441 was run down long before the casino.

    I’m talking about the thousands of jobs the Hard Rock created. I’m talking about the dozens of shops and restaurants located in the Hard Rock’s shopping complex. I’m talking about jobs putting on the entertainment shows. I’m talking about the spin off, with the complex buying food, paper goods, liquor, gasoline, cleaning supplies, vehicles, bed linens, etc. from local vendors.

  2. Resident says:

    Amazing since many of the Republicans in this Legislature fought for years on allowing casino’s. One of Gov. Bush’s ardent objections to.

    Now when it involved money that they so desperately need, and have no choices left, do they start support.

    You see, principals do have a price.

    Not to say they shouldn’t have done it years ago to avoid much of the cut backs of past years.

    Another thing has changed: The Seminoles built Hard Rocks in Hollywood and Tampa, along with smaller casinos in other cities.

    There is already casino gambling in Florida. It just isn’t taxed by the state, although a deal with the Seminoles gives the state some money.

  3. Of Course says:

    Tourism is Job #1 in Florida. If people want to vacation here and gamble which brings us local jobs and economic activity I have no problem with it so long as we can contain crime.

  4. Howie says:

    Casinos always bring up the same questions including who will pay for the crime that comes with them? Will cities and counties that have them get a bigger share of the taxes? What type of hotels will be allowed to have them?

  5. Duke says:

    Florida is always the last at accomplishing the obvious. We should have had casino gambling on the beach and high speed rail years ago. I’m old enough to remember when kids were not permitted at race tracks. Now they have “family days.” I’m also old enough to remember when a lot of these politicians who now approve of casinos were fighting against them.At least if the casinos are not owned by the Seminoles, we don’t have to listen to anymore of that “sovereign nation” crap anytime they do something that warrants a lawsuit.

  6. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    i’m glad you picked this topic Buddy. I say w/ the jobs that the casinos will bring and to attract the tourist. with the beach and sand its the perfect combo. I brought this up to Mayor Seiler and he states to me(get this)”they will be no poker chips on my beach” To my reply, WATCH. Bring it ,bring it yesterday.

  7. Death Frog 3 says:

    Has anyone been to the “reservation” recently? They have completely built new homes for tribe members and it looks more like Weston and less like its West Hollywood neighborhood that it looked like in the past.

    It is definitely an economic boom (mind you in the worst economic times anyone under 90 has seen in this country).

    The expansion of Casinos with the the allure of the beaches and South Beach will make Florida THE destination for tourism.

    I agree with Buddy that 441 was blighted long before the Hard Rock. The Hard Rock has actually cleaned up that area. Traffic on SR7 is really the only problem.

    Casinos more than pay their share for the crime associated with them.

    In a word, YES to Casinos. As for the parimutuels, Build Hotels and Casino’s on site. Gulfstream looks great. The others not so much.

    U. S. 441/SR 7 was so blighted they probably considered the waste plant to be rehabilitation of the neighborhood.

  8. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    It’s a bout freaking time….this s hould have been accomplished many years ago and we wouldn’t be in the trouble we are in. Hollywood Beach, blighted…Dania Beach, blighted….Somebody I know that was an electrical engineer said the Diplomat when built is already wired. Bring it on and bring people to South Florida, I have some property I would like to sell before I’m too darn old to enjoy the money. I, however, have been very lucky at the Mardi Gras, I believe they give back more money than the seminoles. I’ve never won a dime out there and I’m just a party-time gambler once every two months or so.

  9. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Death Frog 3 (there are two more of you?)

    The suggestion that new fancy homes for Seminole tribe members shows that gambling has been a positive for the tribe ain’t necessarily so.

    Even before gambling, starting with alcoholism, the tribe suffered serious problems with lifestyle and social condition.

    Gambling has turned the members into wealthy, no need to work, trust fund babies. I believe each member gets over $130,000 a year for just being a member.

    Have violence and substance abuse gone up or down?

    Has education and personal health standards gone up or down?

    In my legal practice I come into regular contact with members of the Seminole Police Department. Their answers are rather dreary. Ask them how all this money has effected the tribe and they roll their eyes. I have yet to encounter a Seminole cop who thinks all this money has improved the quality of life .To the contrary they tell me of a cocaine epidemic.

    I don’t know all the facts and I suspect no one does.

    I would like to see the tribe use some of that money to survey the health and general quality of life conditions of the Seminoles.

    I fear that all this freebie money has been a curse and not a gift.

  10. Christine says:

    Sam and Death Frog 3,
    It would be interesting to see what the level of substance abuse, and general measurements of health would be if one was to contrast the residents of the Seminole tribe in Hollywood with those of Pine Ridge Reservation. Pine Ridge is the poorest reservation in the United States.