Sen. Dennis Jones' 'Destination Resorts' bill dies in committee

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The Legislature? biggest hope for a gaming expansion this legislative session is dead, the Senate? point man on gaming said Tuesday to the Orlando Sentinel.

Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, said that he is withdrawing bills that would bring Las Vegas-style casinos to Florida over the next few years, after Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, proposed an amendment to the bill that would have allowed South Florida pari-mutuels to offer slot machines and a tax rate identical to any future destination casinos.

? had no interest in that whatsoever,?he said.

Jones said the Legislature gave the pari-mutuels several sweeteners last year as part of its negotiations related to the Seminole gaming compact. The proposal this year was more geared to opening facilities that would have offered plenty of convention and entertainment options. The gaming was just a minor part of that, he said.

Jones also estimated that the bill would have created 100,000 jobs.

?? disappointed that people couldn? see that,?he said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.