TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Genting Malaysia, an international casino corporation is betting on the Florida legislature.
The gaming company bought land in Miami and drew up plans for a mega-resort.
Now it's waiting on lawmakers to expand gaming. A bill to allow the Vegas-style resorts failed last session.
Republican State Senator Dennis Jones of Seminole County sponsored the bill, and is ready to try again. “This is a fabulous opportunity for Florida for jobs. And these are all high paying jobs and like I said we will start to attract the trade show industry.”
In the Senate the president is promising members a chance to vote on the issue… but the gaming expansion faces a tougher time in the House.
Disney has been a long-time opponent of expanded gaming. The House Speaker is from the area and so are other influential House members like Republican State Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood.
Plakon has a bill to ban internet cafes. His legislation could be rolled into the expanded gaming bill in an effort to garner more House support. If that happens Plakon is undecided how he would vote. “My wife doesn’t even know what my answer is going to be on that so if that happens we will have to decide when the time comes.”
Supporters of casinos say it’s not just about gaming. The resorts would become destinations for international trade shows… with each boasting 15-hundred rooms and more than 500-thousand square feet of meeting space.
The plan is to set up a gaming regulatory board that would oversee all gambling, including Indian casinos and businesses like internet cafes.
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