Silence is Golden

Hello FLA/ January 19, 2017/ Florida Politics, Why Your Bill Sucks

It’s time to dust off the much hyped Lobbyist full employment act aka the annual exercise in regulating gaming in Florida that fills campaign coffers and degrades to gridlock annually as all the industry players attempt to slit each others throats.  This year, right out of the gate we have a global Senate package that addresses several of the hot button “gaming” issues of the day: fantasy sports, the compact, slots in counties that voted them, etc.

All Dogs are Equal, but Some Dogs are More Equal than other Dogs. 

Booter once told me that Chapter 550 is so screwed up after years of tinkering that each Pari-mutuel facility basically has its own rules and own tax structure. If the devil is in the details, then the Galvano bill is a masterpiece of a Frankenstein monster that appears to help, but actually perpetuates and exasperates this cobbled together structure of varying rules and standards that benefits some tracks at the expense of others.

Most legislators probably don’t know this, but most dog and jai alai tracks already have the right to move within a county as long as the surrounding facilities agree. As we discussed above, each facility has a varying set of rules as to how far they can move, whether they can cross county lines, and what hoops they need to jump through to get there.  While the Galvano bill appears to attempt to streamline this process, it really creates a competitive advantage for a former member of the legislature.  Twenty little words inserted into the Galvano bill, “if within a county with three or more pari-mutuel permits, it is at least 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean,” allow the Rooney’s to move within Palm Beach, while locking their local competitors permanently into their current locations.

I’ve reached out to the Palm Beach Kennel Club for comment (as well as Dan Adkins and the Marti Gras).  They have not responded.  Why would they? Silence is golden…