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TALLAHASSEE (CBS4/NSF) – While forces are rallying to support or oppose a proposal to build three destination resort casinos in South Florida, a new report indicates the state is spending less on gambling addiction programs.
This year the state collected $1.75 million from pari-mutuel gaming facilities for gambling addiction prevention programs. Lawmakers, however, only put $264,700 of it into such programs. The rest went to plugging holes in the general revenue budget, according to the Palm Beach Post.
While the state’s horse and dog tracks pay $250,000 annually for compulsive gambling prevention and help-lines for gambling addicts, lawmakers can divert the money as where they deem it’s needed.
Lawmakers put $569,000 in Lottery dollars into the budget for compulsive gambling programs, that was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling said it is nearly broke after losing state funding.
“It is surprising that the state would be considering the greatest expansion of gambling in the history of the state at the same time that it refuses to fund help for the people who are currently negatively impacted by the existing gambling,” said the council’s executive director Pat Fowler.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)