Legislature stirring the gaming pot

Once again the Florida legislature has set its eyes on the convoluted Florida gaming industry. A request for proposal (RFP) has been issued as the legislative branch undertakes a comprehensive study of gambling in the sunshine state.

This will be interesting for several reasons. Firstly, the State has to find an unbiased reputable firm to put together this study over the next several months. This is a tall task, as virtually every “reputable” company has done, or is doing, work for casino industry members. There are inherent conflicts of interests brewing as the outcome of this study is designed to determine the fate of current and future participants in the Florida gaming industry.

This includes the deep-pocketed giants like the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Malaysian powerhouse Genting, and Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands. There are billions of future profits at risk.

Good luck with this search. Once a firm is selected, they will examine every aspect of the current market. This includes tribal gaming, racinos in Dade and Broward County, pari-mutuels around the state, and the silent, ever growing arcades and internet cafes. This will be a study that defines the future of Florida in the gaming industry. Too many residents and legislators are in denial over our gaming presence.

The industry has been replete with piecemeal legislation. It is time to chart a logical path that maximizes job creation and revenues to the state, while holding the participants accountable through sensible regulations.

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