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Fresen pitches changes to casino resort bill

The House sponsor of the bill to bring three mega resort casinos to Florida unveiled a series of amendments Wednesday to make the measure more palatable to his conservative, anti-gambling colleagues.

The changes by Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, are designed to “scale back existing gaming and ensure there is no additional gaming,” he said.

But while Fresen’s changes are designed to limit the expansion of gambling in Florida, the state Senate went in the opposite direction last week when it adopted amendments to a similar bill by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff that opens the door to Las Vegas-style slot machines in every horse and dog track and jai-alai fronton in the state, so long as voters approve.

Under Fresen’s proposal, the state would authorize three destination resort casinos and, like the Senate bill, allow them only if voters approve in a countywide referendum. Bogdanoff’s bill, however, would allow for the three resort casinos to operate in any part of the state. Story here.

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