Two Home payments weaving the authorized framework for the Seminole Compact’s influence on horse racing and on fantasy sports activities betting received approval Monday from the Home Choose Subcommittee on Approved Gaming Exercise.
Each payments, Republican Rep. Chris Latvala‘s HB 7A for decoupling casinos from pari-mutuel betting and Republican Rep. Josie Tomkow‘s HB 9A for fantasy sports activities, search to create new parameters for playing outdoors of Seminole Tribe of Florida casinos.
Each make it possible for Floridians to see playing increase in these non-tribal video games. The Seminole Compact itself is roofed in HB 1A, which was not heard by the choose subcommittee.
However the pari-mutuel decoupling invoice is pitting elements of the horse trade in opposition to different elements, because the horse breeders and house owners want to see horse racing proceed in Florida whereas some observe house owners want to make that optionally available.
The invoice would enable cardrooms and slot machine casinos run at Jai alai frontons, former greyhound racing tracks closed down final 12 months, and Florida’s final remaining harness racing observe to be decoupled from these pari-mutuel playing operations. Which means these operations might stop, but the casinos might proceed.
That might not be so for thoroughbred racing, which Latvala and different proponents of the invoice contend remains to be too large and too essential an trade in Florida to threat shedding.
That decoupling provision appears to be like to be altering quickly. Latvala indicated an curiosity in additionally nixing the proposed decoupling of harness racing from on line casino operations.
HB 7A, HB 9A, and a 3rd invoice, Latvala’s HB 11A, which might change licensing charges for fantasy sports activities operations, all had been permitted by the choose subcommittee on break up votes, sturdy sufficient to guarantee passage however nonetheless with bipartisan handfuls of representatives voting no. HB 7A was permitted by a 13-5 vote; HB 9A by a 12-6 vote; and HB 11A by a 12-5 vote.
Maybe probably the most passionate argument came visiting the potential destiny of Florida’s final harness racing observe and the group of normal bred horse breeders and house owners set to lose their solely Florida outlet if it closes. Caesars Leisure, house owners of Isle Casino Pompano in Pompano Seashore, have already got utilized for a rezoning that might eradicate the observe if Caesars is allowed to decouple the on line casino.
Rep. Dan Daley, a Democrat from Coral Springs whose father raised commonplace bred horses, contended that Caesars plans to finish harness racing even supposing this previous racing season was a document 12 months, as a result of the corporate expects it might make more cash with a on line casino on a mixed-use growth. He urged that Florida maintain the harness racing requirement, lest Florida’s commonplace bred trade be worn out by the lack of the observe within the state.
“The horsemen and horsewomen of the usual bred trade have gotten the quick finish of the stick for 15 years,” Daley stated.
On the similar time, a consultant of Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Seashore posed the other argument, contending that if Isle On line casino can decouple, why can’t we?
Latvala stated he already was contemplating amending the invoice earlier than it reaches the Home ground to deal with Daley’s considerations about decoupling harness racing from on line casino recreation rooms.
“We’re wanting into the usual bred’s difficulty and placing that again collectively,” Latvala stated.