ommittee members did not debate before unanimously approving the proposal to give the state's 25 parimutuel facilities new gaming options. On the plan to give the Seminole Tribe full-fledged casinos, only Senator Dave Aronberg, voted no.
The two proposals, which are designed to move through the process in tandem, also would lower the legal gambling age from 21 to 18 and give parimutuels outside Miami-Dade and Broward counties the option to run electronic slot machines that pit players against each other.
The Senate bill also would reduce the tax rate on slot machine gaming from 50 % to 35 % at pari-mutuel casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward and provide that the payout be no less than 85 % at all facilities. Tax revenue would be used for education programs statewide, similar to the use of taxes from pari-mutuel casinos and revenue from Seminole casinos.
The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.