Poker bill could mean longer gaming hours - Friday 25th of April 2008
Poker rooms could stay open later and dormant jai-alai frontons could become greyhound racetracks under two bills that won approval from a Senate committee Tuesday.
The poker bill paves the way for high-stakes and celebrity tournaments at parimutuels and would expand gaming to 18 hours a day on weekdays and 24 hours a day on weekends. Current law allows card rooms to operate for no more than 12 hours a day.
The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller, would allow parimutuels to host and broadcast celebrity or charity poker tournaments like the ones that have become television mainstays in recent years.
They also could have high-stakes tournaments in which up to 1,000 players each pay up to $10,000 in entry fees.
ILLEGAL IN FLORIDA
You have tournaments that are spread across the world, in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, but currently those tournaments are illegal in Florida, said Geller, a Hallandale Beach Democrat. ``We think this is a great way of generating free publicity for the state.
The high-stakes tournaments would be allowed twice a year, and the charity or celebrity tournaments would be allowed six times a year under Gellers bill.
The legislation requires parimutuel facilities to give at least 70 percent of proceeds from the celebrity events to qualified charities.
Geller attempted to pass similar legislation about expanding card room hours last year, but he said the measure failed in the House.
The Senate Regulated Industries Committee voted 8-2 in favor of the bill, which now faces two more committees.
A House companion measure has not yet been heard by any panels in that chamber.
A separate bill sponsored by state Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Greenacres Democrat, won 10-0 approval from the Regulated Industries Committee on Tuesday.
Aronbergs bill would allow some jai-alai frontons to convert their parimutuel permits to greyhound racing, so long as the facilities have not hosted any jai-alai games within 10 years.
There are other criteria jai-alai facilities must meet in order to be considered for the dog-racing permit, including having no more than two parimutuels in the county.
As a result, the only facilities that would be eligible are Palm Beach Jai-Alai, Volusia Jai-Alai and Tampa Jai-Alai.
Although Aronberg said dog racing is more popular than jai-alai, the bill is being opposed by the International Jai-Alai Players Association.
The players want to play, said Douglas Russell, a lobbyist for the association. ``They see the loss of a permit, even an inactive permit, as the loss of their ability to eventually play jai-alai. They see it as a threat against their sport, which is the oldest professional sport in the state of Florida.
State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, chairman of the House committee that oversees gambling, said he is not optimistic the measure will get heard in the House.
Right now, there are much more important things to be worrying about in the Legislature than parimutuel legislation, the Miami Republican said.
Other news from around the same time
Congress Encouraged to Take Action on Internet Gaming Regulation - Friday 25th of April 2008
Prime Table Games, a Las Vegasbased casino game development company, today ran a full-page statement....
Las Vegas wild card trashes Atlantic City - Friday 25th of April 2008
Sheldon Adelson, the richest man in Las Vegas, at a benefit for John McCain at the Venetian last wee....
Visitor arrivals jumped to 27 million last year - Friday 25th of April 2008
The number of visitor arrivals last year jumped to just under 27 million last year, up by 23 percent....
Gala puts block on Rank’s G spot - Friday 25th of April 2008
RIVAL gaming groups Gala and Rank are at loggerheads in a row over trademarks. Rank is thought to be....
Vladivostok is Likely to Lose Gambling Area - Wednesday 26th of March 2008
Vladivostok is likely to lose gambling areas in Russkiy Island. The Head of Russian Union of Manufac....
Will there be enough Sporeans for casino jobs? - Tuesday 25th of March 2008
THREE out of four jobs at its casino have been pledged to Singaporeans but this is a quota the Marin....
Don’t ruin our social lives: Save bingo halls - Tuesday 25th of March 2008
Many elderly and female players say a visit to the bingo is a social lifeline for them where they ca....
$3 Casino Rama bet nets $8.9M jackpot - Tuesday 25th of March 2008
Steady play on a slot machine for under an hour won Anna Falco a record $9 million on the weekend.Th....
The billion-dollar men of betting - Tuesday 25th of March 2008
PUNTING with TAB Sportsbet this year will reach the previously unthinkable mark of $1 billion. Thats....
Macao rises as gambling mecca - Tuesday 25th of March 2008
At 11 in the morning, six Asian men sit hunched over baccarat tables in a room with hardwood floors,....