Rick Scott: Gambling Expansion Must Not Cost State Guaranteed Revenues
Governor Rick Scott said when he was running for governor that, although he was not proposing expansion of casino gambling in the Sunshine State, he had no moral objection to gambling. Before he was sworn in, he flew to Las Vegas to meet with Las Vegas Sands casino Chairman Sheldon Adelson to discuss the potential of casino gambling for Florida.
Although there is no evidence that Scott is pushing casino gambling as part of his efforts to get Florida’s economy moving and create jobs, it would be impossible for him not to be aware of the fact that temporary casino facilities and an extension of table games to the Dade and Broward pari-mutuels could produce at least 18,000 jobs before he runs for re-election.
Scott told one pari-mutuel vice president that any proposal to bring casinos to South Florida would have to demonstrate that it would more than replace the estimated billion dollars in revenue currently guaranteed to the State under 20 year Seminole compact.
While visiting Washington DC, Scott told a prominent Republican lobbyist that he would veto any casino proposal that he thought would cost Florida guaranteed revenues. He also said that the key to job creation in any expansion of gaming would depend on the tax rate.
Those who know Scott say that he would be receptive to a casino gaming bill that would help kick-start Florida’s economy.