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Thrasher's arcade language intended for dog track getting scrutiny

An economic development bill has come under fire on the final hours of the legislative session after the Senate's powerful Rules chairman, Sen. John Thrasher, tucked language into the measure to give his former client, and the rest of the state's parimutuels, the ability to install slots look-alikes on their property.

Under the measure, inserted first into a budget conforming bill related to tax revenues and now attached to HB 7203, another budget-related bill, Jacksonville Greyhound Track could get the arcade-style slot machines it has sought. Under the measure, cities and counties that allow coin-operated amusement machines (such as those at adult arcades or Chuck E Cheese parlors), must also allow those machines at parimutuels. Howard Korman, president of the Jacksonville Greyhound track, has asked the Jacksonville city council to allow him to install the machines.

The amendment would also lower the current tax rate on the machines from 4 percent to 1 percent.Before being elected to the Senate, Thrasher lobbied for Korman.