International edition
October 26, 2020

The Florida Senate is expected to take up the issue of casino resorts next week

Las Vegas-style casinos could open in Florida

(US).- Governor Rick Scott admitted that he met with a casino owner in Las Vegas on his way to a meeting in San Diego in November. The governor, however, campaigned against the Vegas-style casinos and denies that he changed his mind.

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I have not taken any position than the position I have already said. I've said that right now, I do not want our budget to be tied to gaming, and two, we already have gaming in the state, and I'm fine with what they're doing, so I've not taken any position that I want to expand gaming or make any changes," Scott said.

Scott's change of heart regarding the casinos may have resulted from his campaign promise to bring hundreds of thousands of jobs to the state of Florida. Republican State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff of District 25 said, "Yes, jobs are going to be the bonus, the collateral advantage that you have, but for me, it is about not providing a monopoly in a particular industry."

Currently, Las Vegas-style gambling is only allowed at pari-mutuels and on Native-American reservations in Florida. However, not everyone favors expanding the industry. "Do we want to have more crime? Studies show all across the country that there's an increase in crimes, some places over 100 % increase in crime. Why would you want to invite crime?" Doug Hurd of the Christian Coalition asked.

Supporters of the casinos claim that the Vegas-style resorts could create revenue, jobs and increased tourism for the state, at a time when lawmakers are battling a us$ 3.5 billion budget deficit. The Florida Senate is expected to take up the issue of the casino resorts as early as next week.

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