Rick Ross, the Governor of Florida has maintained silence on the issue of allowing casinos like those in Las Vegas to operate in the state. The legislators and him should however, make themselves clear and start debating on the subject as it is high time that a clear picture comes out in the situation. It has come out as a job of walking on a thin line for the Governor after he cut a sorry figure when he made comments which hinted he might approve of the casinos but contradicted his pre-election anti-gambling stand.
He recently said that he’s avoiding a stand on the issue as he doesn’t want the state to become dependent on specific revenue sources. He, however, acknowledged meeting gambling executives in Las Vegas shortly after election when he was on his way to the Republican Governors Association meeting to be held in San Diego.
The list of gambling related businesses that are already allowed by the state includes lottery, bingo, slot machine, poker and electronic blackjack. Wagers on dog and horse racing and jai-alai are also allowed. A deal with Seminole tribe was signed after the passing of legislature by then Governor Charlie Christ. The deal gives the tribe rights to operate table games like blackjack in return of $1 billion in the least over a period of five years. The Seminoles are also granted exclusive rights for operating slot machines, like those in Las Vegas, outside of South Florida.
Lobbyists for Vegas casinos have already been approaching Tallahassee to give pitch to their sales. They have also shown interest in investing in Florida which would lead to large scale construction of facilities, generation of employment opportunities and increased revenues through taxes and gaming fees.