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Fla. slots resolution near?

December 06, 2005

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According to a report by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Florida House and Senate leaders on Monday vowed to reach a compromise this week on regulating slots in Broward County.

"We have the duty to take on the role of policy-makers and ... not tempt judicial activism to take over," said Rep. Frank Attkisson (R-Kissimmee), chairman of the House Business Regulation Committee. "We're getting ready to bring this thing in for a landing."

The Sun-Sentinel reported that with a unanimous vote late Monday afternoon, Attkisson's committee agreed to allow Broward's four pari-mutuels--Pompano Park, Gulfstream Park, Dania Jai-Alai and Hollywood Greyhound--to install Las Vegas-style slot machines. The House bill wants to limit each location to 1,000 machines, which would be taxed at 55 percent, with the money going to schools across the state.

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee today is expected to vote out its version of the bill, which calls for a 45 percent tax rate and would allow 2,000 machines at each site.

"There is probably going to be less policy involved (in reaching a compromise) and more good old-fashioned negotiation between the Senate and the House over what it's going to take to get out of here," said Senate President Tom Lee (R-Brandon).

"The expansion of gambling in Florida occurred at the polls in 2004, and it occurred again in Broward County at the polls in 2005. We're just regulating the environment in which this will occur ... in a lot more predictable fashion than if it were thrown to the courts."
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