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Sunburn – The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics – 7.14.20

Is Jacksonville the next home for a Las Vegas Sands casino?

 By Peter Schorsch    

Las Vegas Sands spent the better part of a decade trying to build a casino in South Florida, but the company appears to have shifted its focus a few hundred miles north.

The casino company made waves Monday when it was found to have pumped $17 million into a political committee that would back a then-unspecified gambling amendment in 2022.

A spokesperson said the company was “contemplating various options with no intention to violate the recently passed Compact/revenue sharing agreement” with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Documents obtained by Florida Politics show the political committee, Florida Voters in Charge, has two pitches for the ballot that both point to Jacksonville as the new target for a resort-casino.

One proposed amendment would authorize up to three existing card room license holders to offer full-fledged casino gaming if they’re located at least 130 miles away from tribal lands and the owners agree to spend no less than $250 million on development and construction costs.

The wording would apply to the bestbet locations in Northeast Florida as well as Gretna, but the Jax area would be the obvious choice for a nine-figure capital investment.

The other proposal would allow for up to three new casinos in the state. The gambling licenses, which would be put up for competitive bid, would require the new facilities to be located at least 100 miles away from tribal lands. Applicants would also have to show they would spend at least $500 million on development and construction.

The second proposal could allow a new player to set up shop down the road from existing card rooms, which would be sure to rile up pari-mutuel interests.

No matter which option Las Vegas Sands picks, Jacksonville is the only major population center that fits the bill.

 — SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —

@sabrod123: DHS Sec. [AlejandroMayorkas to Haitians and Cubans: “The time is never right to attempt migration by sea … this risk is not worth taking. Let me be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.”

@mkraju: Just asked Mitch McConnell about [DonaldTrump’s insult that he’s an “Old Crow.” McConnell’s response: “Actually, it’s quite an honor. Old Crow is Henry Clay‘s favorite bourbon.”

@LEBassett: My entire feed is politics reporters asking who Olivia Rodrigo is, and I’m deeply embarrassed for all of you old nerds

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@mlafferty1: Yah, except the Florida law isn’t just about burning buildings and dragging people out of cars. It goes after people who stand in the traffic, which is what’s happening not only in Cuba but in Tampa and Miami. Ask someone who was on the Palmetto Expressway or Dale Mabry today.

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FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comJuly 14, 2021

Republished with permission

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