Florida resort casino bill pulled
April 1, 2011
A bill that would have legalized four to five large integrated casino resorts in urban locations throughout Florida has been withdrawn.
State Senator Dennis Jones (R-Seminole), the bill’s author, withdrew it because of a move by Florida’s pari-mutuel industry to piggyback a tax reduction onto the measure.
“As we started to gain some acceptance, the pari-mutuel industry attacked us with the idea they wanted another tax cut and I was unwilling to do that after we gave them a 15 percent tax cut last year,” Sen. Jones told the St. Petersburg Times. “They apparently had the votes to ride on the back of this industry. I’d rather have nothing than something I don’t like.”
If approved, the Jones bill would have established destination-style casinos with all forms of traditional slot and table games. Bidders would have to pay a $50 million application fee in return for exclusive rights to operate the games. The resorts would also have to be at least 75 miles apart.
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