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Conference Committee on Gaming

House links homestead exemption increase to Senate priorities

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The fate of this year’s gambling bill is being held hostage to passage of a homestead exemption increase, sources told FloridaPolitics.com Sunday night. Publicly, lawmakers have been saying that progress on omnibus gambling legislation was taking a backseat to the 2017-18 state budget talks. The Conference Committee on Gaming hasn’t met since last Thursday. The Senate is largely for some expansion of gambling in the state; the House wants to hold the line. Behind the scenes, however, House leadership made the decision to…

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House takes giant steps in gambling negotiation

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The Florida House made several major offers Wednesday to get a gambling deal done this session, including authorizing decoupling for dog and horse tracks if county voters OK it in a local referendum. House and Senate negotiators met in the morning in their ongoing effort to agree on an omnibus gambling bill for 2017, including an agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to continue blackjack exclusivity in exchange for $3 billion over seven years. State law requires dog and horse…

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Senate budges little in initial gambling negotiation

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Saying he wanted to “start taking small steps,” state Sen. Bill Galvano on Monday tendered the first offer in the Legislature’s negotiation on a gambling bill this year. The initial tender, though it largely maintains what’s in the Senate’s bill, also would classify contentious “pre-reveal” games as slot machines, and would limit two new slots facilities to either Broward or Miami-Dade counties. A circuit court ruling last month against the state said entertainment devices that look and play like slot machines, called “pre-reveal” games,…

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Gambling deal may come down to slots question

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Seeing it as the “lesser of various evils” to pass a gambling bill this year, the House may give in to the Senate’s position to legislatively approve new slot machines in counties that passed referendums allowing them, according to those familiar with the negotiations. As of early Monday, the Conference Committee on Gaming was set to meet later in the day at 1:30 p.m., though an official notice had not yet gone out. The House and Senate are far apart on their respective gambling…

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