UPDATE: Florida Destination Gambling Bill Essentially Dies in the House

Casino Watch Focus reported that the Mega Resort Gambling bill had taken its first step in the Senate by being voted out of a committee.  It still needed to travel farther in the Senate, but it was assumed the bill would stall in the House.  The bill must pass through both sides of the legislature on its path to become law.  If the bill fails in one chamber, it wont pass during that years legislative session.  The Florida Independent is reporting  that the bill has been pulled by the author, Rep. Fresen, in the house:

State Rep. Erik Fresen’s request at a House subcommittee meeting in Tallahassee today to temporarily postpone his bill to allow Las Vegas-style casinos in South Florida essentially killed the bill for the 2012 legislative session.

After 90 minutes of debate, Fresen said, “To the extent that I have been around this process long enough” and “having the ability to read the tea leaves and recognize where this bill is headed in this committee … I would in a very friendly manner ask through chair Holder to temporarily postpone this bill as we continue to workshop it.”

State Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, responded, “Before we make that decision Rep. Fresen I want to be really clear this is the last time that this subcommittee will meet” during the 2012 session, adding,”in other words, there will be no opportunity to hear this bill before the 2013 session convenes.”

 Rep. Fresen pulled the bill.  One small possibility does exist to  bring the bill back up in the 2012 legislative session.  The Miami Herald explains the possibility:

After a lengthy debate, the House Business and Consumer Affairs and subcommittee stopped short of killing the bill to bring three so-called destination resorts to Florida but, by failing to take a final vote on the measure, left it on life support.

After working for weeks to muster the votes on the 15-member committee, Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, couldn’t get a majority. He asked the committee to postpone a vote, leaving it in indefinite limbo under House rules. The only opportunity to revive it is if the House takes up a similar Senate bill.

The Senate bill has stalled, as they were waiting to see how the House would react.  It seems very unlikely that they will waste the time to try to push their version of the bill through, now knowing that the house version couldn’t even make it out of a committee.

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