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Florida's Gambling Future Tied To Future Supreme Court Ruling

Las Vegas gaming companies have been circling around the US, lobbying lawmakers to expand their gambling industries. No state, however, has received more attention in the lobbying efforts than Florida. The Sunshine State remains one of the top tourist destinations in the country, and it is a main target of Vegas groups.

Las Vegas Sands has been at the forefront of the lobbying efforts to expand gambling in Florida to include destination casino resorts. Last year, when Governor Rick Scott won the election, he was seen soon after on a private jet that belonged to LVS CEO Sheldon Adelson. The two allegedly spoke about the possibility of casino resorts in Scott's state.

Now, all of the lobbying efforts could hinge on one court ruling. The ruling is expected to decide whether or not the Legislature has the right to authorize casino resorts without the input of the public. If a constitutional amendment is needed, it would likely mean the end of the lobbying efforts in Florida.

LVS lobbyist Nick Larossi has already admitted that if the ruling comes down against the current situation, the company would likely close up shop and move on from the idea of Florida as a destination for their future endeavors. The end result may not be known until the case reaches all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.

Last year, a circuit court judge ruled that the Legislature had the right to change the gambling laws. The ruling came after lawmakers authorized Hialeah race track to operate slot machines. The machines are currently being installed in the track that has not had live racing in years.

Part of the law that was created last year allows the Seminole Indians the right to offer blackjack at five of their seven Florida casinos. Pari-mutuel facilities in the state received the right to expand their hours of operation, and all gaming facilities in Florida can now offer no-limit poker.

Legislators in Florida have increasingly become enamored with the idea of casino resorts. The state is struggling financially, and companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Genting are willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in destination resorts. Genting has already purchased the location of the Miami Herald, and the company is planning a resort on the property that will have the capability of housing a casino.

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