In a rare concession, the Florida Senate Gaming chairman on Thursday acknowledged that it is unlikely lawmakers can reach agreement on a sweeping gaming bill this legislative session but they will pursue a bill to begin the end of greyhound racing in Florida.
The Senate will abandon its gambling rewrite -- unless the governor negotiates a compact with the Seminole Tribe, said Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, in an announcement Thursday to the full Senate.
But he said the Senate will convene its gaming committee next week to take up bills by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, that end the requirement that greyhound tracks race dogs and to require injury reporting at greyhound tracks.
“Even if comprehensive reform is not in the cards for this session, we need to keep trying to find a graceful transition away from greyhound racing,'' Richter said. "Industry representatives concede today that it’s a dying sport" and a gaming report commissioned by the House and Senate called the sport "loss leaders."
As for the compact, House Speaker Will Weatherford said Wednesday "it's getting late,'' to complete an agreement.