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Storms rails on gambling

As Sen. Dennis Jones, a Seminole Republican, presented a bill to revise laws on slot machines and extend their allowable hours, Sen. Ronda Storms, a Valrico Republican, said she couldn't give up the opportunity to school senators on the effects of gambling.

"If nobody's going to rise in opposition to legalized gambling," Storms said, "I can't let it go."

She went on to cite statistics from the U.S. and Canada that showed casinos and gambling led to high rates of suicide and crime. When other senators responded that gambling facilities in Florida have shown no increase in crime, she said those statistics weren't available, which Sen. Steve Oelrich, a Cross Creek Republican and former sheriff, contested. She also said lawmakers are allowing children to grow up in a pro-gambling state.

Jones, in response, said her argument was "100 percent bogus."

The bill passed in a 29-9 vote.

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