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Florida Gambling Bills Don't Include Sports Betting

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Apr/08/2021

  • One of three bills introduced would allow for gambling at former US President Donald Trump's golf resort in Doral just outside Miami

  • Another piece of the legislation delves into allowing gambling in Miami Beach

  • Any gambling expansion will require at least 60% voter approval

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Three newly introduced gambling bills in the Sunshine State make no mention of sports betting.

One delves into whether gambling should be allowed at former US President Donald Trump’s golf club in Doral and the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach.  Previous attempts to allow gambling in Miami and Miami Beach have been unsuccessful.

Billionaire real estate mogul Jeffrey Soffer has been pushing to transfer a gambling license from Hallandale Beach’s Big Easy Casino to the Fontainebleau Resort, which is owned by his family.

The legislation that will be considered in committee Monday would create a five-member, governor-appointed Gaming Control Commission with law enforcement authority over gambling laws, according to Yahoo News.

The legislation would also allow for coupling.  This means that pari-mutuel permit holders can operate card rooms without having to also offer jai-alai, harness or quarter horse racing.

Under Amendment 3, passed in 2018  thanks in no small part to unlikely bedfellows Disney and the Seminoles, at least 60% of voters must approve of any gambling expansion in Florida. 

The Trump initiative does throw a wrench into the potential for any of the bills passing.  Despite winning the state in the 2020 Election, his approval rating sat just under 50 percent at the time.  Furthermore, many of his steadfast supporters are Evangelical Christians opposed to all forms of gambling, including lotteries.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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