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The state of Florida already has casino gambling. What lawmakers in the House and Senate are trying to do is figure out how much the gambling should be expanded in the state. There are varying opinions on this matter.
On Monday, top economists in the state gave their opinion on the amount of money that could be generated under both a House Bill and a Senate Bill that are being proposed. The figures for both Bills was in the hundreds of millions.
The Senate Bill being proposed would bring full scale casino gambling to Seminole casinos in Florida. Under the plan, pari-mutuels would also get blackjack. The Seminoles would be able to offer blackjack, baccarat, craps, and roulette.
The House plan does not go to the extent of the plan in the Senate. Under the House plan, the Seminoles would be allowed to keep Vegas style slots, but would have to stop offering blackjack and baccarat.
The state’s Revenue Estimating Conference concluded that the Senate plan would bring $504 million in revenue to the state in the first year. The House plan would bring the state $257.2 million in the first year.
Whichever plan becomes law, and it could be a combination of both plans, the state would benefit greatly from expanding casino gambling, according to the economists.
Gambling Issue Takes Center Stage In Texas Legislature Wednesday
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All of the Bills that are being considered in the Texas Legislature were put on the table on Wednesday for people to debate. There were both proponents and opponents of casino gambling present and many testified to what casino resorts would mean for the state.
“We oppose the expansion of gambling because it’s really a predatory business practice,” said Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas member Stephen Reeves.
There were many in attendance that felt the same as Reeves, but the other side of the argument was also well represented. Sheldon Adelson, Chief Executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., knows a thing or two about casino resorts. and he believes Texas would be a great location for major casinos.
Others looked at it from a strictly financial point of view, and they concluded that in these tough times, casino resorts could be highly beneficial to Texas.
“Texas is going to need money now and in the future, and this is just one way to keep money that’s leaving the state right now,” said Alabama-Coushatta Tribe member Carlos Bullock.
Several of the plans that are being proposed would allow for resorts with convention space. This, some lawmakers believe, would help lure bigger business conventions to the area and help improve the economy.