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Expansion

Senate passes 2017 gambling bill

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As expected, the Senate on Thursday passed its gambling overhaul for this year, including a renewal of exclusive rights to blackjack games for the Seminole Tribe. Sen. Bill Galvano, the chamber’s shepherd of this year’s legislation, told fellow lawmakers he couldn’t promise that “we’ll reach a state of resolution” this session. That said, he expects the House and Senate to go to conference on their respective bills, which are significantly different. Galvano later told reporters the bill represents $340-350 million in…

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Poll: Most voters down on expanding gambling

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The vast majority of Florida voters — 84 percent — “want to reduce or hold the line on gambling” and 60 percent also “are less likely to support a candidate … that votes to expand gambling,” a new poll released Monday shows. The latest Mason-Dixon poll included questions on gambling, according to a news release from No Casinos, Florida’s anti-gambling expansion group. The anti-expansion “feeling among Floridians carries across all regions of the state: North Florida (87 percent), Central Florida (92 percent),…

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MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott talks expansion

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Right now, the race for a new MLS expansion team seems to be in a 12-team tie. At least, that was the impression from a 45-minute conference call with MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott, who was careful not to handicap the race and to say only good things about the contestants. Abbott did say his Expansion Committee – to be made up of team owners – will want a decision on the next four MLS teams by the end of…

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Does St. Petersburg face tough climb to get MLS team?

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From the outside, it would appear that St. Petersburg has some catching up to do in its pursuit of Major League Soccer, particularly if it wants to be on the front-burner of expansion. St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, has announced that it wishes to expand Al Lang and join the MLS. But the website fiftyfiveone.com, evaluating the 10 cities that are scrambling for a team, ranks St. Petersburg only eighth. Owner Bill Edwards has said he would…

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Well, oops. USF misspells ‘research’ in material for Big 12

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Perhaps the worst time to make a typo is when a university is trying to come across as smart. Ask the University of South Florida, which didn’t do nearly enough research on the proper way to spell to “research” as it was trying to gain favor with the Big 12. USF, one of several schools trying to curry favor if the league expands, talked about its academics and and its Top 25 “reasearch” productivity in promotional material sent to the Big…

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Rowdies’ owner Bill Edwards envisions bigger home for team

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Bill Edwards likes what soccer has become. He likes even better what it may grow into. On Thursday, Edwards — owner of the Rowdies — said he could imagine Al Lang Stadium growing into a facility that would seat 18,500 fans. Coupled with the just-announced 25,000 seat stadium in Orlando, it’s another example of the sports’ growth in Florida. There are now teams in St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Edwards originally was supposed to provide $1.5 million…

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Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred talks expansion, which could help Rays

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Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suggested the possibility of expansion Tuesday, which might help the politicians of St. Petersburg and Tampa hold onto the Tampa Bay Rays. If baseball were to expand for the first time since 1998, it would  take two of the better cities out of any possible competition for the Rays. Of course, if you are a suspicious sort, you might wonder if this was simply a way for the authorities of baseball to look more closely at…

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