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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Las Vegas ready to bet on Florida with new gambling offer

26

January

Ellyn Bogdanoff has given up. Once one of the most ardent opponents of gambling expansion in the Florida House, the Fort Lauderdale legislator is now ready to open the doors to full-fledged casinos because, she says, Florida ``is losing the battle'' to the Seminole Tribe.

Backed by one of Las Vegas' largest gambling magnates, Bogdanoff wants to allow casinos at five to seven ``destination resorts'' throughout the state through the Florida Gaming Equalization Act.

Under the plan, voters would first have to approve the casinos in local referendums. Then, a state gaming commission would grant permits for the convention-focused entertainment centers. Applicants could range from the big names of Vegas to Florida's parimutuel industry. The expansion would offer competition to the Seminole Tribe's Hard Rock casino resorts near Hollywood and Tampa.

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., told The Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times on Friday that he is prepared to invest as much as $3 billion on at least one resort casino that could create 7,000 jobs. It would be a mega-convention center that would include shopping centers, theaters, spas, hotels, restaurants and, yes, full casinos. Read more here.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:15pm]

    

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