Expansion of Gaming Locations Proposed by Florida Senator

Florida Senator Blaise Ingoglia has filed Senate Bill 1054 to support the expansion of parimutuel gambling in the state. The bill proposes to eliminate a requirement for certain permit holders to show that their permits have not been disapproved or recalled at a later election by the Florida Gaming Control Commission. This bill is set to be considered at the upcoming 2024 legislative session.

Senate Bill 1054 focuses on parimutuel permit holders in the state and proposes future submissions of applications to the state regulator, the Florida Gaming Control Commission, to exclude the said requirement. The FGCC is a five-member body, with members appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, including Julie Imanuel Brown, John D’Aquila, Charles Drago, Tina Repp, and Louis Trombetta.

The bill filed by State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia aims to allow greyhound dog racing permit holders to relocate if specified conditions are met. This proposal comes after almost 70% of the population voted in 2018 to amend the state constitution to ban greyhound dog racing in 2020. The bill proposal would facilitate permit holders to run these gambling operations at locations where they would not be compromised.

Additionally, the bill requires the same conditions for the relocations of slot machine locations. It mandates that a slot machine gaming area of a relocated parimutuel facility should be at the location for which the relocation was approved. Parimutuel betting is typically used in greyhound dog racing and horse racing, and allows for facilities to circulate through established locations within the state.

However, opponents are concerned that the bill would affect municipalities as it does not require their authorization for the establishment of parimutuel facilities. The bill also stipulates that parimutuel facilities that relocated are not subject to municipal restrictions on the establishment of cardrooms. Some officials in Miami are concerned that billionaire Jeffrey Soffer may take advantage of the bill to expand gambling in the city, particularly in relation to his new hotel casino development in Las Vegas.

Overall, the bill proposed by Senator Blaise Ingoglia seeks to expand parimutuel gambling in Florida, but it has raised concerns about its potential impact on local municipalities and the gambling landscape in cities like Miami Beach.