he Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is a us$ 1.5 billion agency regulating one million professionals and businesses across some 200 licensee categories. Its mission is to ensure that professions and businesses provide quality services for the health, safety and welfare of citizens and visitors in the great state of Florida.
The department licenses 1 in 16 Floridians, ranging from electricians to real estate agents, from cosmetologists to professional boxers. Other department-regulated areas include hotels, restaurants, alcohol and tobacco retailers, condominiums and mobile home parks.
Yogonet.com interviewed Deputy Secretary of Business Regulation, Scott Ross, who oversees the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and other divisions. In Florida, pari-mutuel wagering is authorized for horse racing, harness horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai games and cardroom poker games.
What are the main functions of your department with regards to gaming activities in the State of Florida?
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, through the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, serves as the primary regulatory body for gaming in the state of Florida. We currently regulate Pari-Mutuel Wagering at facilities throughout Florida as well as slot machine gaming in 5 facilities currently operating in Miami Dade and Broward County Florida. It is our role to ensure that consumers are offered the appropriate consumer protection when engaging in gaming activities.
In your opinion, what are the main advantages or disadvantages of the Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010?
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is an administerial department, which enforces laws established by the Legislature. Therefore, we are not positioned to comment on advantages or disadvantages of bills. For any comment on possible legislation, please contact the appropriate bill sponsor. In this case, I know that you’ve already contacted Representative Abruzzo.
In case the online poker bill is approved, what would be your mission? Would you be in charge of approving and verifying licenses?
The Legislature is charged with outlining the responsibilities and regulatory oversight an agency has. When any legislation is approved, it is our mission to ensure that the terms of the law are upheld. The bill is the best source for defined oversight.