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Lawmakers are once again working to assure the 3-million Floridians who play fantasy sports with friends that they’re not breaking the law. A measure from Tampa Republican Senator Dana Young would clarify that playing fantasy sports does not constitute gambling. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has raised concerns about the legislation violating the tribe’s gambling exclusivity agreement with the state. But Young says she’s not worried.

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The Seminole Tribe of Florida is getting behind a push to put an anti-gambling amendment on next year's ballot.

Anti-gambling forces are claiming a partial victory now that the Florida Supreme Court is blocking slot machines at a Gretna pari-mutuel facility.

Lawmakers have folded on plans to pass a comprehensive gambling overhaul bill this legislative session.

With just days left in their annual session, Florida legislators entered their final week struggling to work out deals on everything from the fine print of a new state budget to a major gambling bill.

Florida lawmakers are beginning to make headway when it comes to finding a middle ground between the House and Senate gambling plans.

Justices OK Felon Rights, Gambling Initiatives

Apr 21, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

In a pair of high-profile issues that could go on the ballot next year, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday approved proposed constitutional amendments that would restore felons' voting rights and restrict the expansion of gambling in the state.

A measure placing gambling warnings on Florida lottery tickets is heading for the House floor.

A gambling overhaul bill passed through the full Florida Senate Thursday. Meanwhile the House bill is heading for that chamber’s floor. While leaders say it’s been years since a gambling bill has advanced so far through the process, others point out there’s a long way left to go.

Florida lottery tickets could soon carry a big warning label if a Republican legislator gets her way.

The Florida House unveiled its version of a gambling overhaul bill Thursday. What’s inside came as a surprise to lawmakers like Sarasota Republican Rep. Alex Miller (R-Sarasota).

"Decoupling would eventually in my estimation eliminate the cruelest form of entertainment we have here in Florida and as a freshman I was excited to be put on this committee to decouple. And instead I’m put on this committee with the idea that we won’t be able to do anything for 20 years. So it’s personally disappointing for me,” Miller said.

An attempt to create a new gambling agreement between the state and Seminole Indian Tribe failed last legislative session, but Florida’s legislative leaders say they’d like to see a compact pass this time around.

Nearly a year after the expiration of a high-stakes gambling agreement, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and state regulators made pitches last week in a federal lawsuit over the tribe's right to operate "banked" card games, such as blackjack.

Justices Look At Semantics, ‘Common Sense’ In Slots Fight

Jun 8, 2016
Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images

In a case that could have broad implications for the state’s gambling footprint, a tiny horse track on Tuesday tried to convince Florida Supreme Court justices that it should have slot machines, even without the express approval of the Legislature.

Gambling Decisions In Judges' Hands After Lawmakers Fold

Mar 13, 2016

Whatever the label, a comprehensive gambling plan that would have authorized a $3 billion deal between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe proved too arduous a task for the Legislature to complete this session.

State Gambling In Judges' Hands After Lawmakers Fold

Mar 12, 2016

Lawmakers called it a heavy lift, a three-dimensional game of chess and a Rubik's cube.

Whatever the label, a comprehensive gambling plan that would have authorized a $3 billion deal between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe proved too arduous a task for the Legislature to complete this session.

But the face of gambling in Florida could undergo major changes before lawmakers meet again next spring, as a result of decisions coming not from policy makers but from the courts.

Ted Murphy

With time running out, Florida legislators are still pushing ahead with a major gambling bill that would allow slot machines across much of the state.

In Tallahassee, Bills Are Dying

Feb 22, 2016
The Associated Press

Members, bills are dying.

Those four words --- or something like them --- have long been used by legislative committee chairmen and presiding officers to try to get lawmakers to focus on the task at hand or to move quickly through contentious agendas. The line also happens to fit what starts happening as the session enters its second half.

The Senate took its turn talking gaming Wednesday. Lawmakers in the Senate Regulated industries committee passed a measure that would ratify a gambling agreement between Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe along with a larger gaming measure.

A proposed gaming agreement between Florida and the Seminole Indiana tribe is moving forward, but legislative leaders don’t expect discussions surrounding the bill to end soon.

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