Florida Senate bill to create Florida Gaming Control Commission

Amid ongoing talks with the indigenous Seminole Tribe about a gambling deal, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson unveiled plans to move forward with bills that would create a state gaming commission and lift a long-debated requirement on pari-mutuel facilities.

A move forward amid ongoing talks

Florida has attempted several times to legalise sports betting, including its last attempt in November 2019.  The state’s biggest problem remains to find an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that have stressed that they control the offering of sports betting in the state. Thus, Sen. President Wilton Simpson’s move comes amid ongoing talks with the tribe about a gambling deal.

Sports betting off the table

Neither of the bills recently introduced address gambling expansion nor sports betting.

Simpson declared that the Regulated Industries Committee will be meeting today to consider proposal SB 7076 that would create a five-member body – “Gaming Control Commission”- to oversee gambling operations in the state, which would help to expand the abilities of the Office of Statewide Prosecution to investigate illegal gambling activity.

According to the bill, the Commission will hold certain responsibilities from 1st July 2022, including governing administrative authority, pari-mutuel betting and slot machine gaming.

The Senate committee also is expected to consider proposal SB 7080 that would allow pari-mutuel facilities to offer certain forms of gambling without having to also offer jai-alai, harness or quarter horse racing.

Let’s remember that currently, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering oversees Florida’s commercial gambling market and that the Seminole Tribe of Florida has their own commission, which regulates gaming at its several tribal venues throughout the state.

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