Lottery expansion possible, but could risk compact

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Following up on another legislative analysis done earlier this year, a Senate study released Thursday suggests Florida could bring in more money by expanding electronic and automated lottery offerings that would, in turn, entice more retailers to provide the games, reports the News Service of Florida. The interim study by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee reiterated that expanding the menu of lottery games to include fast keno, Mega Millions (a multi-state game), video lottery terminals, and higher priced instant ticket games could produce more revenue for the state without violating the 2010 compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The compact guarantees payments to the state in exchange for limited exclusivity of its seven tribal casinos. Lawmakers, the report noted, could also expand electronic gaming beyond the parameters of the compact if they determined that the added revenue from state-run games would more than offset the loss of tribal payments. Such a move would require legislative action.

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.