TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Unable to resolve a stalemate over slot machines, a prominent lawmaker said Tuesday that the Legislature won’t pass a gambling measure aimed, at least in part, at renewing an agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
“Gaming will not happen,” Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who is the Senate’s chief negotiator in gambling talks with the House, said in a text message early Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, Galvano and his House counterpart, Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, made some headway in an attempt to reach consensus on the chambers’ competing gambling plans. But, with just three days left until Friday’s scheduled end of the legislative session, Galvano and Diaz failed to reach a compromise on a major sticking point: whether to allow slots at pari-mutuels in counties where voters have approved them, even without the express permission of the Legislature.
The Senate had insisted that any gambling plan include slots for the eight referendum counties — Brevard, Duval, Gadsden, Hamilton, Lee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Washington — while the House preferred a more status-quo approach.
After years of failing to pass previous efforts, lawmakers were again trying to craft a plan this year in part to resolve a series of gambling-related court decisions.
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”