South Florida could become an even bigger gambling haven with two new destination resort casinos and four dog tracks operating slot machines -- instead of racing dogs -- under a sweeping gaming rewrite filed Monday by House Republican Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa.
The measure, filed in the traditionally gaming-averse House, takes a novel approach to gaming by requiring destination resort operators to buy out active gaming permits in order to operate the swanky casinos.
The bill also helps the powerful South Florida pari-mutuels, who have contributed heavily to GOP election coffers for the last several years, by reducing the tax rate for existing racinos, allowing dog tracks in Palm Beach and Naples to run slot machines, and ending the requirement that dog tracks race dogs in order to offer gaming.
Gaming options would also expand in other parts of the state, such as Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, where wagering on videos of "historical races" would be allowed as a new form of gambling. The seven casinos operated by the Seminole Tribe would also see expanded games as they could offer the full array of black jack, roulette, and craps that are available to the resort casinos.