Gambling loopholes brew from PCB 668On a meeting with the Senate Gambling Committee last week, gaming expert Marc Dunbar from the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers laid out on the table the odds gambling operations might take advantage of to keep their business alive in Florida.Based on Dunbar’s arguments, PCB 668, a bill supposed to fix a law legislated last year which compromised arcades during a crackdown on storefront casinos, was laden with loopholes that had given traction to legally suspect gambling operations in the state.According to Dunbar, a professor at the Florida State University who specializes in gaming law, the bill’s slack wordings would egg on an outbreak of the strip mall casinos shutdown a year ago.After Dunbar’s presentation, the senate debated on the issue of senior arcades’ innocence with their set of slot machine-like gambling devices arranged in long rows inside their establishments.However, the senators paid no heed on the expert’s warning and voted unanimously on the bill.In 2013 several senior arcade operators remodelled their machines and prizes to comply with House Bill 155 approved by Governor Rick Scott. The law which took effect immediately following the resignation of Gov. Jennifer Carroll whose name was dragged over the Allied Veterans of the World charity scam had shut down around 1,000 operations in Florida.Later that year, Senator Jack Latvala announced that he wanted to amend HB 177, a bill which drawn establishments like Dave & Busters and Chuck E. Cheese’s in a lawsuit for violating the law. After HB 177 compromised claw machines which offer patrons various stuff toys inside a transparent box are being closed in accordance with the new law, Latvala vowed to make changes and fix the law.Back in the 90’s, loopholes granted gambling boats access to Florida. The ships cruised anywhere and docked at ports within the state’s boundaries.In 1979, the limitation of bingo wagering to charitable cause with a maximum pot of $100 provided a gateway to the opening of seven casinos in Florida operated by the Seminole’s tribe.These loopholes also opened the door to poker rooms and slot machine racinos camouflaged as faux racing and jai-alai events.The new bill intended not to curb problems in the future, but to correct the past, said the Senate Gaming Committee Chairman Garrett Richter, R-Naples. Let’s just hope that this bill would not create the same problems created in the past, so as not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
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