The legalization of gambling is once again rejected in Florida.

For years, stakeholders have been engaging in fierce competition within the legislative chambers of Florida, USA, in an attempt to expand and loosen the state's gambling regulations. Presently, only two counties are granted the privilege to operate slot machines, with a cap on the number of casinos that can be established in the area.

Following numerous lawsuits and their respective trials, the legislation on gambling in the American state has proven to be ineffective. This refusal of the new regulation by the lower house leaves the industry subject to vague legislation. Furthermore, exacerbating the situation is the fact that this rejection also implies the annulment of the decisions made through referendums held in all counties. Out of these, eight counties voted in favor of allowing the installation of slot machines in racehorse tracks and dog races, but the House of Representatives decided to maintain the current prohibition, disregarding this outcome.

On the other hand, the state senate is in favor of the proposed legislation. According to Joe Negron, the president of the senate, the decision made by the eight counties should be honored. However, State Representative José Felix Díaz countered these statements, stating, "This is an issue that should be addressed statewide. The decision wouldn't just impact the eight counties, but all those neighboring as well. Hence, it should be made at the state level."

Originally, both houses passed new gambling legislation. The approved legislations were significantly divergent, necessitating reconciliation between six members of the lower chamber and six members of the upper chamber. The two factions failed to reach a consensus within the allotted time frame of 60 days, resulting in the decision being postponed to the following year, when new legislation may be introduced.


The current status of gambling and betting games in Florida.

Currently, slot machines are able to operate in Miami-Dade and Broward, and seven casinos hold operating licenses. The intention of the new legislation was to expand the number of casinos and regulate the exclusive licensing of dice and roulette games for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Tribe already has a license to operate casinos in the state and is in negotiations to open a new casino in Miami. State Representative Diaz has expressed openness to approving another casino in the county, but the decision will ultimately be up to the population of Miami-Dade, who will have to vote in a referendum on the matter.

However, by next year, the state of Florida is poised to forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, estimated based on a potential new income had the legislation on gambling and games of chance been approved. Furthermore, the resolution to an urgent state need is being delayed: the regularization of the status of current casinos and slot machines after judicial rulings have left these machines in legal limbo. The law now perceives them as vacant positions, adding to the complexity of the situation.

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