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House committee passes its tribal gaming proposal

Amid concerns about uncertain fiscal predictions, the House Select Committee on Seminole Compact Review passed its bill today to restrict gambling at the tribe casinos to slot machines only. The vote 19 to 1. Rep. Alan Hays R-Umatilla, was the lone no vote.

Everyone commended chairman Bill Galvano for shepherding the plan. Galvano said the committee will produce its second piece, a bill to give parimutuels more tax breaks to allow it to better compete with the tribe, by April 20.

Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach,  said he found some hypocrisy in the state's approach to gambling. "We try to tell kids don’t smoke,  don’t drink, don’t gamble, but we are going to use this kind of money to educate you. I think we are sending the wrong message when we do that.''