Odds deminishing for a Florida gambling bill, House Speaker Weatherford says

April 3, 2014 

Gov. Rick Scott is in quiet, some say subdued, negotiations with the Seminole Tribe of Florida over a new gambling compact. The House won't take up a bill to address gambling expansion until a compact is complete. And the Senate has repeatedly postponed a hearing to vote out its proposal to build two new destination casinos in Miami Dade and Broward.

Conclusion: "It's getting late,'' said House Speaker Will Weatherford on Wednesday.

As the legislature reached the half-way point Wednesday of the 60-day legislative session, pre-session predictions seem to be coming true as the odds of a gambling bill emerging, then passing, become dimmer with each passing day.

Weatherford told reporters that while the House has moved one bill through committee, it's not prepared to take any more action until the governor acts.

"We said for the last six months, there were two components: One was a negotiated compact. We have not seen that and we’re almost at the sixth week of session,'' he said. "It’s probably getting a little late for a compact at this point. And second, we said we needed a constitutional amendment to move from both chambers. That doesn’t look like it’s moving in the Senate either. It’s getting late.”

Meanwhile, legislators have had no updates on the progress of the Seminole Tribe negotiations. "It's very quiet,'' Weatherford said.

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