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Column: Gaming interests spent big and got nothing in Florida


Filed Under: Compacts | Opinion
More on: florida, seminole
   

The Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Photo from Google+

Columnist says gaming interests spent a lot of money on lobbying and politicians in Florida only to get nothing in return:
They hired 100 powerboy lobbyists. They poured gobs of money into the campaign accounts of the governor and our legislators. They enriched the state political parties.

They got nothing. They bet all that money on a favorable comprehensive overhaul of Florida’s madcap gambling statutes. They rolled snake eyes.

They wanted legislation to establish destination casinos, or to lower tax rates for racinos, or to allow slot machines in parimutuels beyond South Florida, or to expand the gambling monopolies enjoyed by Indian casinos, or to “de-couple” dog racing from the greyhound racinos, or to allow revival of the strip mall casinos. And to get what they wanted, gaming enterprises invested prodigious amounts of money in the 2014 legislative session.

The Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas reported that in the first quarter of this year alone, the Republican Party of Florida took in $832,000 from gaming outfits. The Democrats received $347,000.

The Florida subsidiaries of Malaysian gaming giant Genting, desperate to build a destination casino on Biscayne Bay, gave $883,000 to the political parties and sent a number of fat checks to political committees controlled by individual legislators.

Get the Story:
Fred Grimm: Big bucks flowed in Tallahassee this year, but gambling supporters got nothing in return

Related Stories:
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