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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott calls casino bill the 'lobbyist full employment act'



Asked about a bill that would allow three resort casinos to operate in south Florida, Gov. Rick Scott joked that it's the "lobbyist full employment act."

Scott is not opposed to increasing gambling up to a point. "I don't want to make this state so dependent on gaming that we balance our budget just on gaming," he said show on "The Morning Show with Preston Scott, a Tallahassee radio program on 100.7 WFLA.

He did say it would be unfair for casinos to pay a lower tax rate than pari-mutuels with slot machine licenses in South Florida. The proposal would give new casinos a 10 percent tax rate while pari-mutuels currently pay a 35 percent rate.

"It's hard to rectify, isn't it?" Scott said. "It seems like everybody ought to have the same tax rates. It wouldn't be fair to allow in new casinos at a different tax rate that what the parimutuels are paying."

The governor also said cities and counties should be able to decide whether they want gaming.

"Some communities aren't going to it. It doesn't appear that Orlando is going to do it want to have anything close to gaming. I think we ought to be very cautious," Scott said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 9:20am]


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