Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Florida Government Negotiates Special Session For Discussing Gambling Bill

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In his statement to the local media last week, Senator Bill Gavano had revealed that the lawmakers in Florida have not yet reached an agreement on holding a special legislative session in the state for the purpose of finalizing a gambling bill. Earlier this month, the state government had come out with the proposal of organizing a two day special session by the end of April in a bid to discuss and decide on a gambling legislation for the state, as they had failed to do so in their regular legislative sessions.


Back in January this year, the Florida lawmakers had come together for a 60 day long legislative session wherein both the chambers of the Legislature had come up with their individual proposals for a gambling bill. However, the state government could not reach a common consensus on what the future of the gambling industry in the state would be, and the session was eventually terminated on March 9.


As the state’s agreement with the local Seminole Tribe draws towards its expiration, the Florida legislators are concerned about losing on hundreds of millions of dollars in gaming revenues that the tribe transfers to the state in exchange for having an exclusive gaming license for blackjack. After the Speaker for House Richard Corcoran expressed his concerns over the matter, the state government floated the news of holding a special session for gambling bill.


By holding a special legislative session, the Florida lawmakers can go on to make the required amendments to the state gambling laws independently without having to obtain public opinion on the matter. In the November ballot later this year, the residents of the state of Florida will cast their vote for an amendment in the constitution which would severely restrict the power of the legislators in issues associated with gambling in the state. According to the aforementioned constitutional amendment, the state would have to take the approval of the local residents through a voting process prior to introducing any changes to their gambling legislation.


According to the press release by the local news agency Florida Politics, Senator Galvano has outlined that although there have been discussions on holding a special session, the legislators have not yet provided any recommendations or agreement for the same. In addition to this, press reports also reveal that there have been no discussions between the state and the Seminole Tribe, ever since the idea for a special session was floated in the state parliament.


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- iGaming & land based specialist reporter for the global gaming market