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Rubio, not a gambling fan, is staying away from casino debate

Sen. Marco Rubio, who once sued Gov. Charlie Crist over a gambling compact, reaffirmed his opposition to gaming today, but signaled he would likely not get involved in a campaign against the proposed Genting casino in Miami.

"I have my hands full here," Rubio said. "I think people in Florida maybe they’re interested in what my opinion is, once I’m more informed. But I think more importantly they want me focused on what can the federal government to create an environment where more jobs are created."

The Malaysian gambling conglomerate Genting is proposing a 10-million-square foot development and casino at the current Miami Herald site. "

I understand people support it," Rubio told the Buzz. "I understand that destination casinos are a different argument than slot machines at a dog track."

"I always warn people that gambling is not the solution to all of our problems," he said. "Nevada is the gambling mecca of the United States and it has a higher unemployment rate, their housing market is upside down ... they are hurting in Nevada."

But don't look for Rubio to lead the opposition. "I think we have a legislature and we have local governments and we have voters in Florida who can decide that for themselves.

The proposal is being championed by some Republican lawmakers who say it will boost the state economy. The impacts could be huge, advocates say. But Florida has always had a mixed view on gambling. The Florida Chamber of Commerce recently came out against the casino, though said it liked the rest of the Genting development.

-- Alex Leary

Comments

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Paul Davies

Memo to Sen. Marco Rubio: Why go into public service if you are not going to exercise your power or influence?

Rubio has a perfect public platform and responsibility to speak up for the good of his constituents. But instead he wimped out. Rubio understands the ills of gambling. He knows that gambling is not an economic panacea.

As Rubio said, Las Vegas is an economic basketcase right now with housing prices cratering and unemployment in the double digits. Not to mention, the high personal bankruptcy, crime, divorce and suicide rates that are all above the national average. The cause of Vegas’ economic woes are not the desert sun, but rather the state’s heavy reliance on gambling as the main form of economic development.

That’s not a model other states should follow. It is incumbent upon leaders like Rubio who know better to stand up and do the right thing rather than take a back seat.

Mario Faz

Mr. Davies: with all due respect. In politics specially in the D. C. Beltway is a slippery environment. it's foolish to give your opinion on a subject that is not of your incumbency. Specially when you are a freshman eve though you have previous experience in Tallahassee or in Miami Dade. Washington is a battleground specially at this times when the brouhaha between the two parties are heating for next year, anything you say, anything you do is going to surface sooner or later and its going to affect you, your political aspirations or your party as a whole So there is an old saying in spanish "en boca cerrada no entran moscas" or in a shut mouth do no enter flies also "antes de poner a funcionar la lengua conecte el cerebro" or "before using your tongue conect your brain".
Thanks.

Christian Berkee

This is a good stance to talk- do not get involved until you know ALL the specifics. Otherwise to change your mind later is quite foolish and makes you look like another vascilating politician. Go Genting!

TEHO

WARNING: You are going to get a really BIG surprise if Miami or South Florida gets those BIG casinos in the Destination Resort Bill.

I was actually in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City, NJ working for the casinos during the 1970's when the Las Vegas casino executives and the New Jersey politicians & New Jersey gaming commission made a lot of BIG "promises" to the people about improving the local economy and housing.

Guess what ? There is still high unemployment and slums in Atlantic City today ( 35+ years later ) while those million dollar casinos are making a lot of money. Please do not make the same mistake in Miami or South Florida !

Please contact all your public government officials and tell them to vote NO against these BIG casinos !

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/default.aspx

http://www.flsenate.gov/

Thank you !!

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