Florida State Senate Passes Another Gambling Bill
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Florida had another gambling Bill passed by the Senate today. This one does not expand gambling, but it does offer some relief for dog and horse track owners.
Horse and dog tracks were ecstatic when they were allowed to expand and offer Vegas style slots at their locations. That optimism, however, was thwarted quickly when they realized they had to pay a fifty percent tax on earnings.
A Bill passed by the Senate today would help the track owners stay open for a while longer. Many of the current track owners are unhappy with the current tax rate. The new Bill would allow for any earnings above the mandatory $123 million paid to the state, would be at thirty five percent, not fifty.
“At a fifty percent tax rate they’re either losing money or barely breaking even now. And with additional competition from the Indians offering product that they can’t, I would expect that they would close. With a thirty five percent tax rate they have a shot of hanging on,” said the Bill’s sponsor, Senator Steve Geller.
Another Bill is also on the table, but chances are it will not get through the House. The other Bill has to do with a form of gambling expansion, something the House will not support.
“It’s like a cancer, it creeps everywhere,” said Senator Ronda Storm, when speaking of gambling expansion. The first Bill will probably pass the House only because laws are already in place allowing gambling at the dog and horse tracks.