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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Casino bill stalled again



The authors of the long-awaiting destination resort bill said Tuesday that they have found yet another reason to hold the bill back and work on it some more.

"When you see the bill, you will know why it took so long,'' said Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff on Tuesday, the Senate sponsor.

The bill has grown to more than 150 pages, much of it devoted to establishing the Florida Gaming Commission, a new state agency  whose role will be to license, regulate and enforce gambling throughout the state. The separate state agency will be run by a seven-member commission, appointed by the governor. The House speaker and Senate president will recommendation the list of candidates from whom the governor can pick to make his appointments to the board.

The bill will allow the commission to award three casino gambling licenses in South Florida in return for an investment of $2 billion in a resort complex.

The delay is simply because the House and Senate bill drafters  are "dotting every 'i', and crossing every 't', and making sure all statutory references are correct,'' said Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, the House sponsor. "I wish there was a sexier reason but there isn't."

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 3:34pm]


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