Rep. Bob Cortes’ Anti-Gambling Bill Moves Forward in House

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The Florida House of Representatives moved forward a bill sponsored by Representative Bob Cortes, which requires the Seminole County Voters to approve any expansion of gambling in Seminole County. Previous laws had allowed municipal governments to authorize the Division of Pari-mutuel Licensing to give permits to new gambling facilities without approval of the county voters.

While Florida’s home rule laws respect a county government’s charter in conflict with a municipality, state law provided municipalities a work-around to expand gambling even if the county or other nearby cities within the county opposed the expansion.

Cortes’ bill seeks to close that loophole, and prohibit the state from granting a license to expand gambling without approval of the county voters. The bill was forward in the house yesterday without objection and will head to the gaming and tourism committee. Representative Cortes expressed confidence the bill will eventually be adopted.

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