Session Review: Greyhound racing, Internet cafes left untouched

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When the 2012 legislative session started, gambling was poised to be one of the biggest issues. But by Friday’s session end, gambling issues offered, well, barely a whimper, reports the News Service of Florida. For example, lawmakers did not move forward with proposals (SB 382 and HB 641) aimed at eliminating requirements that greyhound tracks run live races. Parts of the pari-mutuel industry and animal-rights groups supported the idea, which was heard in only one Senate committee. Also dying were attempts to ban or regulate Internet cafes, which have popped up in strip shopping centers across the state. Critics argue the businesses offer illegal gambling similar to slot machines, but the industry says it offers computerized games that comply with sweepstakes laws. Also dying during the session, of course, was a high-profile proposal about allowing resort casinos in Florida.

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.