Destinations resort bill filed…and it will probably piss off everyone outside of S. Florida

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Three bills that will establish Las Vegas-style destination resort casinos in South Florida were filed today, reports the News Service of Florida. The main bill (HB 487) will award exclusive full-casino licenses to three destination resorts in South Florida. The bill is over 140 pages and includes the establishment of a new department of gaming control that will have sweeping powers over the state’s gambling entities, from collecting taxes to issuing subpoenas and approving licenses. The proposal is set up to favor destination resort casinos. Pari-mutuel facilities, for instance, would pay higher tax rates than the new casinos and the Seminole Tribe will no longer have the exclusive ability to operate certain card games. Casinos operators who will apply for the right to operate a destination resort in Broward or Miami-Dade counties would have to pay a refundable fee of $50 million for the right to compete and guarantee a $2 billion investment.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.