Newly elected Gov. Rick Scott claimed he was against gambling expansion in Florida. Two weeks after the November election, Gov. Scott had a sit down meeting with a Las Vegas gaming company owner. The meeting was of course confusing to those who believed he was against gambling expansion in the state. Fast forward two months later and The St. Petersburg Times reported that Gov. Rick Scott made comments suggesting that he was in support of gambling:
Scott said Thursday he was open to the idea of allowing “destination casinos,” in light of the fact that Florida already allows some gambling. His comments came less than two months after he met with Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire. Adelson has said he would invest up to $3 billion in a project in Miami.
The next day the Harold-Tribune reported Gov. Scott’s response:
Gov. Rick Scott denied Friday that he is encouraging Las Vegas-style casino resorts to come to Florida. “I don’t know why anybody would say that,” said Scott, who opposed expanding gambling during his campaign. “I’ve not taken any position other than the position I’ve already said.”
Scott said his visit with casino operator Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., was just a stop on the way to the Republican Governors Association meeting in San Diego. Scott did not elaborate, but Sands spokesman Ron Reese called it an “introductory meeting.”
The newspapers quoted Scott as saying he was ready to “look at it going forward.” But Scott, in his first press conference since taking office on Tuesday, rebutted the gambling story, saying: “I’ve not taken any position I want to expand gaming or make any changes.”
Saying you haven’t taken a position on whether or not to expand gaming when your election platform was not to expand gambling, doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the new Governor. However, time will soon tell why Gov. Scott has chosen to answer with political rhetoric instead of confident reaffirmation of his anti-gambling expansion position, as the House and Senate will now see various gambling bills pushed through for debate.