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Atwater: Gambling bill won't 'contain' gaming

Count Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater among those who never bought the argument that adding three destination casinos to Florida could somehow be leveraged into containing gambling.

The former Republican Senate President recounted to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Friday that same argument was used two years ago when the Legislature weighed the Seminole Indian gaming compact. No matter what anyone says, Atwater said, whenever gambling comes up in the Legislature, "it's never really about containment. They said that two years ago, just do this and that will contain it."

Atwater is on record with the two other Cabinet members, Republicans Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, in opposing the casino bill, saying gambling is an industry Florida doesn't need more of.

-- Joni James, Tampa Bay Times