Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing attempt to bring full scale Vegas-style destination casinos to Florida. The last attempt resulted in a pass in the Senate but it went on to stall in the House. The assumption by the legislature has been that they have free reign to pass legislation to expand gambling without the will of the people because of a circuit court ruling. Now, an online source is reporting that a Supreme Court case will rule on the case and potentially push would be casino companies out of Florida:
Las Vegas Sands has been at the forefront of the lobbying efforts to expand gambling in Florida to include destination casino resorts. Now, all of the lobbying efforts could hinge on one court ruling. The ruling is expected to decide whether or not the Legislature has the right to authorize casino resorts without the input of the public. If a constitutional amendment is needed, it would likely mean the end of the lobbying efforts in Florida. LVS lobbyist Nick Larossi has already admitted that if the ruling comes down against the current situation, the company would likely close up shop and move on from the idea of Florida as a destination for their future endeavors. The end result may not be known until the case reaches all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.
Even if the Supreme Court allows the Legislature to expand gambling, there would still be a number of hurdles before full scale destination gambling becomes reality. The Sun Sentinel Online explains:
Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Seminole, who chairs the Senate Regulated Industries Committee, the stopping point for any gaming legislation in the Senate, said he has gotten no indication from Gov. Rick Scott over whether he would even sign a destination casino bill and said he is unsure if he will again offer legislation. “I’m still kind of holding my cards if I’m going to file,” he said. In the House, Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, has been working on a sweeping gaming bill that would limit destination casinos to South Florida and set up a gaming commission to regulate the industry.