Latest News
FLORIDA
10/9/11 TO 10/15/11


Chamber among those lining up against gaming expansion
FL - The Chamber, along with representatives of Walt Disney World, No Casinos, Inc., and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings met with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board Thursday to talk about its opposition to gambling. Wilson said that, for the past decade, he and chamber members have been trying to build Florida's "economy of the future" by diversifying the state's range of employers and attracting higher-paid, higher-tech jobs.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / by khaughney / October, 13 2011

City closer to banning game rooms
FL - Clermont City Council members this week voted unanimously to proceed with a second reading of an ordinance that, if passed, could ban Internet cafes or "sweepstakes parlors" altogether. The proposed ordinance would put a permanent ban on all "simulated gambling devices" and would supercede a 270-day moratorium on the like, originally approved by council that is set to expire Dec. 5. The ordinance further states that it would "not prohibit a religious or charitable organization from conducting a fund-raising activity involving gaming, provided the religious or charitable organization does not conduct the activity more than twice in one calendar year and gives advance notice to police.
www.dailycommercial.com / October 13, 2011

Dispute Over Unpaid Fla. Lottery Ticket Goes On
FL - An appeals court on Wednesday declined to throw out a complaint by an Ocala woman fighting the Florida Lottery over its refusal to pay a $500,000 prize. The woman, Ann Marie Curcio, got a $20 ticket from her husband as a Mother's Day present... Ticket had a misprint.
www.wctv.tv / October 13, 2011

Editorial: Gambling While casinos inevitable, don't bet budget on them
FL - Like it or not, expanded casino gambling is in Florida's future. The state needs to get its financial affairs in order without expanded casino gambling. Then, if Vegas-style casinos are allowed, the additional revenue can be used to supplant current taxes.
www.naplesnews.com / October 14, 2011

Flagler's State Lawmakers Lend an Ear to Local Pleas in Annual Wish-Listing Ritual
FL - But Netts's (Palm Coast mayor) first priority is the regulation of internet cafes, the low-stakes gambling halls that have been proliferating in Palm Coast (nine of them there) and Bunnell (where slot machines have been incorporated into various businesses, including non-profit clubs, that aren't strictly gambling halls). "I don't think we can depend on the commerce system to deal with it. They are burgeoning throughout our state, and we're a little bit confused. We had one attorney general opinion saying that they are legal. We had another general attorney say they are not legal. Quite frankly, we would just like some clarity. If they are gambling, then they need to be removed. If they are somehow not gambling, then we need to have regulation and probably, from the state perspective, some taxation on them. It's a source of revenue that should not be overlooked if you decide that they are legal."
flaglerlive.com / October 13, 2011

Florida Chamber comes out against gaming expansion plans
FL - Wilson said there is a concern that local businesses could go under if large resorts like Genting or Las Vegas Sands move in to the South Florida region.
weblogs.sun-sentinel.com / October 13, 2011

Florida Chamber of Commerce opposes casinos
FL - Wilson (President) said he has met with Genting executives four times and expressed the chamber's position. But if Genting were to buy other casino operators' licenses, thereby actually reducing gambling in the state, the chamber would take a second look, he said.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.14.11

Florida chamber says it wants jobs, just not casino jobs
FL - "Florida is on the map now for high-wage, high-skilled jobs,'' Wilson said. "We just don't think we should sell out Florida's long term future for the opportunity to make a quick buck.''
miamiherald.typepad.com / 10-14-11

Florida gambling issue needs independent study, says Miami's Nero
FL - "We need an objective thorough analysis, not paid for by the casinos or other partner invested in gambling, on the economic and social impact it would bring to this community," Nero said.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.12.11

Friday Morning Reads: Gambling, jobs and Marco Rubio
FL - The debate over South Florida casinos may be hundreds of miles from Orlando, but the tourism industry (Read: Mickey Mouse) is taking it pretty seriously. With casino executives aggressively lobbying the Florida Legislature to build Las Vegas-style casino resorts in South Florida, some local tourism leaders say Central Florida must consider following suit -- or risk losing convention business to Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / October,14 2011

Friday's Daily Pulse
FL - The Florida Chamber of Commerce won't be backing an expansion of casino gambling in South Florida. The Tallahassee-based organization's president Mark Wilson, in Orlando Thursday on business, reiterated the chamber's 20-year-old position against expanding casino gambling in the state. Genting Group has reached an agreement with the owner of the Omni Center to move forward on a friendly foreclosure on the property. The Omni Center is set for an auction on Oct. 27 and if all goes according to plan, Genting should have title to the property by Nov. 7, said Jessica Hoppe, general counsel for Resorts World Genting. Genting last month gained control over the entire $206 million mortgage on the Omni, which had been in the midst of foreclosure.
www.floridatrend.com / 10/14/2011

Gambling fight Number 2: Internet cafes -- ban or eliminate?
FL - Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, filed a bill on Wednesday calling for the regulation of the strip mall gambling dens that have cropped up in as many as 1,000 locations. It's a dramatic departure from the bill filed in the House by Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Sanford, which would outlaw them completely. The two will battle it out and, ultimately, whatever is decided is likely to be subsumed into the casino legislation in the Legislature's rhetorical attempt to argue that tougher regulation of internet cafes will result in a "net reduction" of gambling in Florida even with the introduction of resort casinos.
miamiherald.typepad.com / October 12, 2011

Genting expects to control Omni Center by next month
FL - The Omni Center is set for an auction on Oct. 27 and if all goes according to plan, Genting should have title to the property by Nov. 7, said Jessica Hoppe, general counsel for Resorts World Genting. Genting last month gained control over the entire $206 million mortgage on the Omni, which had been in the midst of foreclosure. Argent Ventures, the owner of the Omni, had been contesting the foreclosure prior to the Genting acquisition.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.13.11

Health-care, gaming cash pours in for Florida Republicans
FL - That's brought Genting, the Malaysian multinational that has already spent more than $300 million for bayfront property in Miami... That it hopes to turn into a $3 billion resort and casino, into the Tallahassee money game. The company has given $185,000 to the GOP, all but $20,000 of it in the third quarter. West Flagler Associates gave $52,500, Gulfstream Park... $50,000 and Mardi Gras <http://www.sun-sentinel.com/topic/arts-culture/holidays/mardi-gras-EVFES0000047.topic> Gaming $40,000. The three are long-time donors and big players in the political process. Dan Adkins, the vice president for Mardi Gras Gaming, called the donations a "necessary evil" of the political process - even as he accused Genting of "buying the state of Florida."
www.sun-sentinel.com / October 12, 2011

It's too risky for Florida's image to roll the dice on casinos
FL - Cue the dancing girls. Send in the dealers. And let's roll the dice, fingers-crossed, that Las Vegas-style casinos will lift Florida from its economic malaise. After all, how bad can it be to let Florida's worldwide brand forever be altered from family-friendly beaches and theme parks to adult playground and money trap? But this latest play would likely just be the first step toward removing the limits on casinos in Florida. The proposal calls for three new commercial casinos. And that could be just the beginning. Nevada, the best-known tourism and gambling destination in the U.S., is not an enviable business climate. There isn't a single Fortune 500 company unrelated to casinos based in Nevada; that state also leads the country in foreclosures. And Atlantic City, N.J., watched casinos cannibalize other local businesses once they moved in during the 1970s. Casinos often subsidize hotel room prices and meal costs, which would put downward pressure on hotels and restaurants vital to Florida's economy that aren't offering bargain room rates along with free prime rib.
articles.orlandosentinel.com / October 13, 2011

Just say no to pill mills, Internet sweepstakes and tattoo parlors in NSB historic districts
FL - The Commission also voted to limit where "Internet sweepstakes" businesses can open in our city (NEW SMYRNA BEACH). Commissioner Judy Reiker said it right when she characterized these businesses as nothing but gambling halls.
nsbnews.net / 2011-10-13

Organized gambling thrives on silence of unorganized foes
FL - Organized gambling is betting big money will fix anything. It will fix a legislature to turn a blind eye to permanent changes big-time gambling would make to Florida's quality of life. It will subvert an election required to end our state constitution's ban on casinos. Coalitions the late Alvah Chapman spearheaded to save us from gambling's scourges -- drugs, prostitution, loan-sharking, mob violence, broken homes, lost souls and moral decay -- have yet to surface and might never. The good people of Miami-Dade so far sit silent and gambling has an open road, along with its inevitable and still very illegal companions in crime. So we allow changes that will forever decay Miami. He (county commission chair) wants to tap gambling-generated taxes because "In these troubling times we must continue to be innovative in order to preserve the American dream, home ownership." ... Does innovation extend to taxing drugs, prostitution and loan-sharking to preserve the American dream, Mr. Chairman? And how many of those owners will lose their homes via the gaming tables? As for local government's ability to pry meaningful cash out of casino operators, remember this: a contract is only as good as the people who sign it. Where are courage and backbone and morality? Are they out of fashion? Whatever happened to taking a stand for what's right rather than for how much we can get from something that's wrong? Once it takes hold, big-time casino gambling is a terminal disease.
www.miamitodaynews.com / 10-14-11

Privately owned casino not best way to boost our local economy
FL - But, when all is said and done, the new casino annually will be vacuuming millions upon millions of dollars out of our community. Judging by the slots players in Immokalee, much of that money will be coming from Social Security and other pension checks. While I do not for a moment doubt casino booster Miami Heat's Pat Riley and his backers' integrity, I do question when the bulk of the money they extract from the people of our area will remain here to circulate in our economy and re-energize it.
www.news-press.com / Rabbi Bruce Diamond / Oct. 12, 2011

Push for South Florida casinos splits Orlando's tourism industry: Convention hotels vs. Disney World
FL - Fissures are beginning to appear in Central Florida's $28 billion tourism industry over whether to embrace high-stakes gambling, something most industry leaders have long considered incompatible with the region's carefully cultivated reputation for family-friendly entertainment. "If they open the door to one community, then our owner feels they have to open it to every community, particularly a big convention destination," added Alan Villaverde, managing director of the Peabody Orlando, "This commercial casino gambling ... is one of the biggest threats to the future of Florida that's on the drawing board right now," Wilson said.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / October, 14 2011

Suspect in Sanford shooting rampage turns self in
FL - A man accused of going on a shooting rampage in a home that left one person killed and three others wounded turned himself into investigators on Thursday, according to the Sanford Police Department. Neighbors told WFTV the home is a gambling house and it's one of the few WFTV found with bars on the windows. "I don't know if that's indicative of a gambling house or not but there was something going on there that shouldn't have been going on there," said Pastor Donaldson.
www.wdbo.com / Oct. 13, 2011

Who holds the best hand: The Mouse or the Malaysian?
FL - Florida Chamber President Mark Wilson went to great lengths to say Thursday that his organization had refused to accept checks from gaming interests. "We've returned their checks. You cannot buy our support," he told the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. "My organization is not willing for a minute to risk the future of Florida for a quick buck. ... Commercial casino gambling is one of the biggest threats to the future of Florida that is on the drawing board right now." Disney has given more than $417,000 to Florida political parties, candidates and committees so far this year. The company usually gets its way in Tallahassee, although it does so quietly. Comparatively, Genting has given $190,000 to parties, $10,000 to the political fund of incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and another $1,000 to candidates. Other potential companies with resort casino ambitions, like Las Vegas Sands, are giving to Associated Industries of Florida, the business lobby that doesn't oppose gaming. Meanwhile, other traditional gaming interests fighting the potential new entrants to the market include Mardi Gras Gaming, which has given $55,500 to state politicians this year.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / October, 14 2011

Why would Islam play a role in casino debate?
FL - "We need an objective, thorough analysis, not paid for by the casinos or other partner invested in gambling, on the economic and social impact it would bring to this community," Nero said, adding that the study should take between six months to a year to complete, and the task force's report on recommendations should be sent to the governor and legislators prior to any vote on this issue. Land speculation could inflate prices of real estate and appraised value of land around the casino development, ensuring that no one would be able to afford to buy or rent near the property, and many merchants would have to find locations elsewhere. Residential displacement could be an end result. Only employees who have been trained to work in the casinos will be able to get the higher-paying, skilled jobs at casinos. Few locals are currently trained for these jobs. Why not use the time to begin to train local workers, so that those jobs go to the local community? No casino should open unless and until the local workforce can be identified and trained. How can that be accomplished? Who will pay? The impact on current businesses: Destination resorts can have a negative impact on neighboring businesses because consumers are encouraged to stay in the resort and spend their money there, instead of going out to restaurants, merchants, plays and other venues. The social costs of alcoholism, gambling addiction, prostitution, organized and street crime: Who pays? Associated traffic and costs: Who pays?
www.bizjournals.com / October 12, 2011

Will we take a flier on casino-type gambling in paradise?
FL - Then one night at Flagler Kennel Club I went to place a bet, and it hit me for the first time: these people were wearing work shirts, with such things as Ace Plumbing on the back and a first name over the pocket. They weren't wealthy tourists or subsidized college kids like me; they were working men gambling with the rent money. That was enough for me, and I never went back. This was long before "pathological gambling" was recognized. These people are addicted to gambling, which consumes them and destroys careers and families. Promises were made to Atlantic Citians, and some were kept while others were not. Unemployment is lower, but still higher than New Jersey in general. Just beyond the glitter, the city remains shabby. The first thing that goes up when gambling begins is prostitution,
www.news-press.com / Oct. 13, 2011

Chamber among those lining up against gaming expansion
FL - The Chamber, along with representatives of Walt Disney World, No Casinos, Inc., and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings met with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board Thursday to talk about its opposition to gambling. Wilson said that, for the past decade, he and chamber members have been trying to build Florida's "economy of the future" by diversifying the state's range of employers and attracting higher-paid, higher-tech jobs.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / by khaughney / October, 13 2011

City closer to banning game rooms
FL - Clermont City Council members this week voted unanimously to proceed with a second reading of an ordinance that, if passed, could ban Internet cafes or "sweepstakes parlors" altogether. The proposed ordinance would put a permanent ban on all "simulated gambling devices" and would supercede a 270-day moratorium on the like, originally approved by council that is set to expire Dec. 5. The ordinance further states that it would "not prohibit a religious or charitable organization from conducting a fund-raising activity involving gaming, provided the religious or charitable organization does not conduct the activity more than twice in one calendar year and gives advance notice to police.
www.dailycommercial.com / October 13, 2011

Dispute Over Unpaid Fla. Lottery Ticket Goes On
FL - An appeals court on Wednesday declined to throw out a complaint by an Ocala woman fighting the Florida Lottery over its refusal to pay a $500,000 prize. The woman, Ann Marie Curcio, got a $20 ticket from her husband as a Mother's Day present... Ticket had a misprint.
www.wctv.tv / October 13, 2011

Editorial: Gambling While casinos inevitable, don't bet budget on them
FL - Like it or not, expanded casino gambling is in Florida's future. The state needs to get its financial affairs in order without expanded casino gambling. Then, if Vegas-style casinos are allowed, the additional revenue can be used to supplant current taxes.
www.naplesnews.com / October 14, 2011

Flagler's State Lawmakers Lend an Ear to Local Pleas in Annual Wish-Listing Ritual
FL - But Netts's (Palm Coast mayor) first priority is the regulation of internet cafes, the low-stakes gambling halls that have been proliferating in Palm Coast (nine of them there) and Bunnell (where slot machines have been incorporated into various businesses, including non-profit clubs, that aren't strictly gambling halls). "I don't think we can depend on the commerce system to deal with it. They are burgeoning throughout our state, and we're a little bit confused. We had one attorney general opinion saying that they are legal. We had another general attorney say they are not legal. Quite frankly, we would just like some clarity. If they are gambling, then they need to be removed. If they are somehow not gambling, then we need to have regulation and probably, from the state perspective, some taxation on them. It's a source of revenue that should not be overlooked if you decide that they are legal."
flaglerlive.com / October 13, 2011

Florida Chamber comes out against gaming expansion plans
FL - Wilson said there is a concern that local businesses could go under if large resorts like Genting or Las Vegas Sands move in to the South Florida region.
weblogs.sun-sentinel.com / October 13, 2011

Florida Chamber of Commerce opposes casinos
FL - Wilson (President) said he has met with Genting executives four times and expressed the chamber's position. But if Genting were to buy other casino operators' licenses, thereby actually reducing gambling in the state, the chamber would take a second look, he said.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.14.11

Florida chamber says it wants jobs, just not casino jobs
FL - "Florida is on the map now for high-wage, high-skilled jobs,'' Wilson said. "We just don't think we should sell out Florida's long term future for the opportunity to make a quick buck.''
miamiherald.typepad.com / 10-14-11

Florida gambling issue needs independent study, says Miami's Nero
FL - "We need an objective thorough analysis, not paid for by the casinos or other partner invested in gambling, on the economic and social impact it would bring to this community," Nero said.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.12.11

Friday Morning Reads: Gambling, jobs and Marco Rubio
FL - The debate over South Florida casinos may be hundreds of miles from Orlando, but the tourism industry (Read: Mickey Mouse) is taking it pretty seriously. With casino executives aggressively lobbying the Florida Legislature to build Las Vegas-style casino resorts in South Florida, some local tourism leaders say Central Florida must consider following suit -- or risk losing convention business to Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / October,14 2011

Friday's Daily Pulse
FL - The Florida Chamber of Commerce won't be backing an expansion of casino gambling in South Florida. The Tallahassee-based organization's president Mark Wilson, in Orlando Thursday on business, reiterated the chamber's 20-year-old position against expanding casino gambling in the state. Genting Group has reached an agreement with the owner of the Omni Center to move forward on a friendly foreclosure on the property. The Omni Center is set for an auction on Oct. 27 and if all goes according to plan, Genting should have title to the property by Nov. 7, said Jessica Hoppe, general counsel for Resorts World Genting. Genting last month gained control over the entire $206 million mortgage on the Omni, which had been in the midst of foreclosure.
www.floridatrend.com / 10/14/2011

Gambling fight Number 2: Internet cafes -- ban or eliminate?
FL - Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, filed a bill on Wednesday calling for the regulation of the strip mall gambling dens that have cropped up in as many as 1,000 locations. It's a dramatic departure from the bill filed in the House by Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Sanford, which would outlaw them completely. The two will battle it out and, ultimately, whatever is decided is likely to be subsumed into the casino legislation in the Legislature's rhetorical attempt to argue that tougher regulation of internet cafes will result in a "net reduction" of gambling in Florida even with the introduction of resort casinos.
miamiherald.typepad.com / October 12, 2011

Genting expects to control Omni Center by next month
FL - The Omni Center is set for an auction on Oct. 27 and if all goes according to plan, Genting should have title to the property by Nov. 7, said Jessica Hoppe, general counsel for Resorts World Genting. Genting last month gained control over the entire $206 million mortgage on the Omni, which had been in the midst of foreclosure. Argent Ventures, the owner of the Omni, had been contesting the foreclosure prior to the Genting acquisition.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.13.11

Health-care, gaming cash pours in for Florida Republicans
FL - That's brought Genting, the Malaysian multinational that has already spent more than $300 million for bayfront property in Miami... That it hopes to turn into a $3 billion resort and casino, into the Tallahassee money game. The company has given $185,000 to the GOP, all but $20,000 of it in the third quarter. West Flagler Associates gave $52,500, Gulfstream Park... $50,000 and Mardi Gras <http://www.sun-sentinel.com/topic/arts-culture/holidays/mardi-gras-EVFES0000047.topic> Gaming $40,000. The three are long-time donors and big players in the political process. Dan Adkins, the vice president for Mardi Gras Gaming, called the donations a "necessary evil" of the political process - even as he accused Genting of "buying the state of Florida."
www.sun-sentinel.com / October 12, 2011

It's too risky for Florida's image to roll the dice on casinos
FL - Cue the dancing girls. Send in the dealers. And let's roll the dice, fingers-crossed, that Las Vegas-style casinos will lift Florida from its economic malaise. After all, how bad can it be to let Florida's worldwide brand forever be altered from family-friendly beaches and theme parks to adult playground and money trap? But this latest play would likely just be the first step toward removing the limits on casinos in Florida. The proposal calls for three new commercial casinos. And that could be just the beginning. Nevada, the best-known tourism and gambling destination in the U.S., is not an enviable business climate. There isn't a single Fortune 500 company unrelated to casinos based in Nevada; that state also leads the country in foreclosures. And Atlantic City, N.J., watched casinos cannibalize other local businesses once they moved in during the 1970s. Casinos often subsidize hotel room prices and meal costs, which would put downward pressure on hotels and restaurants vital to Florida's economy that aren't offering bargain room rates along with free prime rib.
articles.orlandosentinel.com / October 13, 2011

Just say no to pill mills, Internet sweepstakes and tattoo parlors in NSB historic districts
FL - The Commission also voted to limit where "Internet sweepstakes" businesses can open in our city (NEW SMYRNA BEACH). Commissioner Judy Reiker said it right when she characterized these businesses as nothing but gambling halls.
nsbnews.net / 2011-10-13

Organized gambling thrives on silence of unorganized foes
FL - Organized gambling is betting big money will fix anything. It will fix a legislature to turn a blind eye to permanent changes big-time gambling would make to Florida's quality of life. It will subvert an election required to end our state constitution's ban on casinos. Coalitions the late Alvah Chapman spearheaded to save us from gambling's scourges -- drugs, prostitution, loan-sharking, mob violence, broken homes, lost souls and moral decay -- have yet to surface and might never. The good people of Miami-Dade so far sit silent and gambling has an open road, along with its inevitable and still very illegal companions in crime. So we allow changes that will forever decay Miami. He (county commission chair) wants to tap gambling-generated taxes because "In these troubling times we must continue to be innovative in order to preserve the American dream, home ownership." ... Does innovation extend to taxing drugs, prostitution and loan-sharking to preserve the American dream, Mr. Chairman? And how many of those owners will lose their homes via the gaming tables? As for local government's ability to pry meaningful cash out of casino operators, remember this: a contract is only as good as the people who sign it. Where are courage and backbone and morality? Are they out of fashion? Whatever happened to taking a stand for what's right rather than for how much we can get from something that's wrong? Once it takes hold, big-time casino gambling is a terminal disease.
www.miamitodaynews.com / 10-14-11

Privately owned casino not best way to boost our local economy
FL - But, when all is said and done, the new casino annually will be vacuuming millions upon millions of dollars out of our community. Judging by the slots players in Immokalee, much of that money will be coming from Social Security and other pension checks. While I do not for a moment doubt casino booster Miami Heat's Pat Riley and his backers' integrity, I do question when the bulk of the money they extract from the people of our area will remain here to circulate in our economy and re-energize it.
www.news-press.com / Rabbi Bruce Diamond / Oct. 12, 2011

Push for South Florida casinos splits Orlando's tourism industry: Convention hotels vs. Disney World
FL - Fissures are beginning to appear in Central Florida's $28 billion tourism industry over whether to embrace high-stakes gambling, something most industry leaders have long considered incompatible with the region's carefully cultivated reputation for family-friendly entertainment. "If they open the door to one community, then our owner feels they have to open it to every community, particularly a big convention destination," added Alan Villaverde, managing director of the Peabody Orlando, "This commercial casino gambling ... is one of the biggest threats to the future of Florida that's on the drawing board right now," Wilson said.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / October, 14 2011

Suspect in Sanford shooting rampage turns self in
FL - A man accused of going on a shooting rampage in a home that left one person killed and three others wounded turned himself into investigators on Thursday, according to the Sanford Police Department. Neighbors told WFTV the home is a gambling house and it's one of the few WFTV found with bars on the windows. "I don't know if that's indicative of a gambling house or not but there was something going on there that shouldn't have been going on there," said Pastor Donaldson.
www.wdbo.com / Oct. 13, 2011

Who holds the best hand: The Mouse or the Malaysian?
FL - Florida Chamber President Mark Wilson went to great lengths to say Thursday that his organization had refused to accept checks from gaming interests. "We've returned their checks. You cannot buy our support," he told the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. "My organization is not willing for a minute to risk the future of Florida for a quick buck. ... Commercial casino gambling is one of the biggest threats to the future of Florida that is on the drawing board right now." Disney has given more than $417,000 to Florida political parties, candidates and committees so far this year. The company usually gets its way in Tallahassee, although it does so quietly. Comparatively, Genting has given $190,000 to parties, $10,000 to the political fund of incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and another $1,000 to candidates. Other potential companies with resort casino ambitions, like Las Vegas Sands, are giving to Associated Industries of Florida, the business lobby that doesn't oppose gaming. Meanwhile, other traditional gaming interests fighting the potential new entrants to the market include Mardi Gras Gaming, which has given $55,500 to state politicians this year.
blogs.orlandosentinel.com / October, 14 2011

Why would Islam play a role in casino debate?
FL - "We need an objective, thorough analysis, not paid for by the casinos or other partner invested in gambling, on the economic and social impact it would bring to this community," Nero said, adding that the study should take between six months to a year to complete, and the task force's report on recommendations should be sent to the governor and legislators prior to any vote on this issue. Land speculation could inflate prices of real estate and appraised value of land around the casino development, ensuring that no one would be able to afford to buy or rent near the property, and many merchants would have to find locations elsewhere. Residential displacement could be an end result. Only employees who have been trained to work in the casinos will be able to get the higher-paying, skilled jobs at casinos. Few locals are currently trained for these jobs. Why not use the time to begin to train local workers, so that those jobs go to the local community? No casino should open unless and until the local workforce can be identified and trained. How can that be accomplished? Who will pay? The impact on current businesses: Destination resorts can have a negative impact on neighboring businesses because consumers are encouraged to stay in the resort and spend their money there, instead of going out to restaurants, merchants, plays and other venues. The social costs of alcoholism, gambling addiction, prostitution, organized and street crime: Who pays? Associated traffic and costs: Who pays?
www.bizjournals.com / October 12, 2011

Will we take a flier on casino-type gambling in paradise?
FL - Then one night at Flagler Kennel Club I went to place a bet, and it hit me for the first time: these people were wearing work shirts, with such things as Ace Plumbing on the back and a first name over the pocket. They weren't wealthy tourists or subsidized college kids like me; they were working men gambling with the rent money. That was enough for me, and I never went back. This was long before "pathological gambling" was recognized. These people are addicted to gambling, which consumes them and destroys careers and families. Promises were made to Atlantic Citians, and some were kept while others were not. Unemployment is lower, but still higher than New Jersey in general. Just beyond the glitter, the city remains shabby. The first thing that goes up when gambling begins is prostitution,
www.news-press.com / Oct. 13, 2011

* * * Gambling Bill Would Bring World's Biggest Casinos to Florida
Malaysian Conglomerate's Proposed Casino Alone Would be Bigger Than Six of the Biggest Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip COMBINED...The bill would create just 3 Las Vegas style-casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties...The history of gambling proves that every time gambling interests have been given an inch, they take a mile. If the bill passes, competing gambling interests outside of Dade and Broward will press for more gambling and new gambling tax breaks. This will lead to high-stakes casino gambling in many communities in Florida. In fact, gambling promoters in Pinellas, Lee and Volusia counties are already saying that if the bill passes, they want to be able to operate casinos, too. the casino proposed by Malaysian gambling conglomerate Genting would be nearly double the size of the largest casino in the world. If 3 casinos of this size are built, Florida would have as much casino gambling as 20 or more casinos on the Las Vegas strip - and all the money would be in the hands of just 3 companies. the last time voters trusted gambling interests, they were promised $500 million per year for schools from taxes on slot machines in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. So far, they have generated a paltry 20 percent of this figure...When all of these costs are calculated and subtracted from revenues, gambling ends up being a net loss for taxpayers.
FL - www.bradenton.com / Oct. 11, 2011

* * * Gambling, insurance and development groups fuel FL Repubs $5.5m cash haul.
FL - The Republican Party of Florida had its strongest fundraising quarter this year, pulling in $5.5 million between July and October. Genting, the Malaysian gaming giant that bought the Miami Herald's downtown building, came in fifth by contributing $160k. $40,000.00 ISLE OF CAPRI CASINOS, INC. $40,000.00 MARDI GRAS GAMING... $20,000.00 PALM BEACH KENNEL CLUB...
miamiherald.typepad.com / 10-12-11

* * * Organized gambling thrives on silence of unorganized foes
FL - Civic organizations feign neutrality, but the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is publicizing a survey at one event where "an overwhelming 71% of respondents said they would be supportive" of casino gambling. Yes, drug dealing and prostitution and loan-sharking and gangs exist already. So do gambling addiction and poverty and broken homes. But when we open the door to massive casinos, no matter how nicely we package them as "iconic entertainment and hotel" complexes to which families are invited and how futuristic the architecture and how much money casino operators drop into civic groups now, we're multiplying their scourges. But good men and women sit silent. If they don't already have a horse in the race for a casino, many have a relative, friend, partner or client who does. And to casino interests, silence of opponents is golden. All this in the name of jobs. Yet Atlantic City casinos just cut some jobs to $4.50 an hour and the US government records casino dealers' average pay at under $15,000. Tips add to that, but what do workers have to stoop to for that under-the-table tip money? Anyone can fund a study to show desired results. Genting told us jobs and economic impact first, then hired firms to echo that. How reassuring. Make no mistake, Miami: a "resort casino" just covers for vastly bigger gambling operations run by groups who make the folks running our Indian gambling and racinos look like bishops.
www.miamitodaynews.com / 10.12.11

Another city concerned about 'Net cafes
FL - Minneola may become the next Lake County community to sanction Internet cafes, either with a moratorium or an outright ban. "I do not support any gambling of any kind," he (Councilman Roderick) said. "I never have in the past and still don't today. My hope is that we can impose a ban on gambling houses and Internet cafes but, if not, what I will be pushing for is a one year moratorium while we study the issue more thoroughly." Minneola resident and council candidate Pam Serviss said of her stance on the businesses. "There are many other businesses and other ways we can take the tax burden off the citizens of Minneola." He said the cafes have found multiple gray areas in state gambling laws, most of which were written in the 1970s and 1980s before computers became popular. There are as many as 1,000 Internet cafes in Florida, "They're the crack cocaine of gambling," Scott has said of the cafes.
www.dailycommercial.com / October 12, 2011

City, county mayors meet to hash out impact of Genting plan
FL - The city of Miami and Miami-Dade County have agreed to study costs associated with a potential casino on the bay-front Miami Herald site, then show a "united front" in Tallahassee during the upcoming legislative session in hopes of influencing any gambling bill. Genting, which bought The Herald property in June for $236 million, and which has since bought up another 15 adjacent acres, announced plans to build a $3 billion hotel, restaurant and gambling resort called Resorts World Miami. Because county services would be needed to build and sustain the project, county Commissioner Sally Heyman said last week that the county should get at least 45 percent of any new tax proceeds.
www.miamiherald.com / 10.11.11

Gadsden Co. Dispute Splits Quarter Horse Interests
FL - With a dispute about racing in Gadsden County as a backdrop, an industry group has filed two constitutional challenges to laws dealing with quarter-horse racetracks. The cases involve critical issues, such as the ability of tracks to open potentially lucrative card rooms, and come amid a related dispute about a planned track in the Gadsden County town of Gretna. Those objections are important because state laws --- including laws challenged last week --- could give the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association leverage in the dispute. Also, one of the lawsuits challenges a legal requirement that tracks pay a percentage of their betting revenues to the Florida Quarter Horse Breeders and Owners Association, which is related to the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association. The payments are supposed to supplement purses and help promote quarter horse owning and breeding.
www.wctv.tv / Oct 11, 2011

Head of Beacon Council calls casinos threat to South Florida growth
FL - The head of Miami-Dade County's... Economic development agency warned Tuesday that Miami... Casinos could damage the county's economy and frustrate efforts to attract more high-paying professional jobs. The massive casino properties, with dozens of restaurants and Vegas-style attractions, would serve as "vacuum cleaners'' that suck customers and dollars from surrounding establishments, Nero said. That could have a "chilling" effect on businesses in the nearby Design District and Wynwood neighborhoods, two of the most celebrated retail districts in Miami. Nero warned about the social ills large casinos could bring to downtown Miami, including prostitution, addiction issues and organized crime. The board of the Beacon Council includes casino supporters, and Nero said the organization may take a position on the gambling issue at some point. Nero noted that Miami-Dade already enjoys the some of the nation's highest hotel rates and occupancy levels. "It begs the question: Do we need it?''
www.sun-sentinel.com / October 11, 2011

Hess: Gambling issue is a matter of law, not politics
FL - The issue of electronic gaming machines was resurrected Tuesday when State Attorney Glenn Hess addressed the Republican Club of West Florida. Hess spoke Tuesday to a small crowd of Republican voters about the gaming machines, which he has long-maintained allow for illegal gambling. Whereas South Florida tends to favor gambling, and Central Florida dances to the tune called by Disney, which is opposed to competition for entertainment dollars, the Panhandle tends to be strongly conservative and opposed on principle to gambling. Hess said the businesses that operate the machines tend to create blight. The operations are cash-businesses, which in turn attract armed robbers, he said.
www.newsherald.com / October 12, 2011

Indiana And Florida Move Closer To Banning Sweepstakes Videogames
FL - Indiana has adopted new policies designed to eliminate sweepstakes videogames through regulation and police enforcement. In Florida, a state senator and representative say they will modify a pending bill to do the same thing legislatively. In Florida, Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff (R-Fort Lauderdale) and Rep. Erik Fresen (R-Miami) said they will introduce a bill in the state Legislature to legalize casino gambling in Miami-Dade and Broward counties but shut down most Internet cafes.
www.vendingtimes.com / 10/11/2011

Miami econ development guru raises doubts about value of casinos
FL - But Nero, a veteran of New Jersey politics before coming to Florida, questioned whether the casinos would ultimately help Miami's economy.
miamiherald.typepad.com / October 12, 2011

Scott says pari-mutuels, potential new casinos should pay same rate
FL - In the proposed legislation, the new casinos would get a 10 percent tax rates. Pari-mutuels currently face a 35 percent tax rate.
weblogs.sun-sentinel.com / October 11, 2011

Appeals court OKs casinos for Florida
FL - State lawmakers can authorize slot machines anywhere in Florida, an appellate court ruled Thursday. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed a prior decision that could open the door to letting the Legislature permit casino resorts in the state. More immediately the unanimous ruling makes Hialeah's race track eligible for slots, although the opinion may be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. The ruling will usher in a new era for equal access to gaming in Florida by adding to an existing mix that includes horse and dog racing, jai alai and Seminole Indian casinos, said state Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Boca Raton.
ttp: / October 7, 2011

Cerabino: Casino sued for turning a blind eye to disability
FL - A legally blind Lake Worth man is suing a Broward County casino for not accommodating him better at the poker tables. Philip Juarez, 46, lost most of his vision last year due to untreated diabetes. It cost him his job as an air conditioner repairman and ended his nights of shooting pool. But it hasn't stopped him from playing Texas Hold 'Em poker. "I can't read the cards if they're more than three inches from my face," he said. West Palm Beach attorney Joe Fields Jr. sued the Isle of Capri Casino under the federal disabilities act, claiming that the casino didn't have procedures in place to accommodate Juarez and other visually impaired players.
www.palmbeachpost.com / Oct. 8, 2011

Clermont may ban gaming rooms
FL - The city of Clermont today will consider Lake County's most restrictive regulations concerning Internet cafes or gaming rooms -- an outright ban. If approved, the ordinance would force the only Internet cafe in the city to shut down in six months or move. In a memo sent to the Planning Department and to the city manager's office on Oct. 3, Mantzarius explains that the Clermont ordinance on the agenda is based on an ordinance adopted by Seminole County, which also banned the use of simulated gambling devices.
www.dailycommercial.com / October 11, 2011

County resisting Internet cafes
FL - Leesburg and Fruitland Park officials have 180-day bans that remain in effect on new Internet cafes opening up in their cities, while Tavares' city council members recently decided against placing a moratorium on new cafes coming to town. The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling provided Leesburg commissioners with statistics about Internet sweepstakes cafes, which showed 84 percent of the patrons were female; 59 percent Caucasian and 35 percent African Americans; 19 percent retired; 25 percent either unemployed or disabled; 35 percent had committed illegal acts to finance their gambling; 92 percent were suffering from depression; 18 percent had serious suicidal indications, and 35 percent were older adults, 55 years or older. It also was noted that gambling are impacting low-income residents with household incomes under $30,000.
www.dailycommercial.com / October 09, 2011

Deceptive sweepstakes
FL - Internet sweepstakes cafes elude anti-gambling laws by having customers buy account cards that are used to play simulated gambling games on computers. The outcome is predetermined, but to the player, who doesn't know whether the card will generate a return, it is like being at a slot machine. ... It is a predatory practice aimed largely at the elderly and the poor. Sheriff David Gee has warned owners they appear to be "conducting gambling activities," and his office intends to investigate and enforce the law. Sheriffs in Pinellas and Pasco have shut down similar cafes and arrested owners.
www2.tbo.com / October 11, 2011

Don King fighting to bring casino to Palm Beach County
FL - Boxing promoter Don King is hoping a new court ruling will help his dream of turning the old jai-alai building in Mangonia Park into a casino-style resort become a reality. Mangonia Park councilman Addie Greene sat on the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners when King tried to turn the empty building into a casino style resort once before.
www.wptv.com / 10-11-11

Seminole pact may hinder casinos
FL - One potential obstacle to statewide casinos is an agreement the state made two years ago with the Seminole Indian tribe to let it keep a monopoly on the industry. Each year the tribe pays the state a predetermined amount in exchange for exclusivity. Any expansion beyond a few minor exceptions in South Florida would cancel that contract.
www.news-press.com / Oct. 9, 2011

Exclusive: Odds are, casino debate on way
FL - A group led by Miami Heat president Pat Riley is putting on a full-court press for a 1,500 hotel room and gaming resort stretching from Colonial Boulevard to State Road 82 just east of Interstate 75 in Fort Myers. On the other: opponents fearful gambling could forever destroy the Sunshine State's family-friendly reputation. Meanwhile, Riley's team in Fort Myers is pushing forward with a petition drive that would put a referendum on the November 2012 ballot amending Lee County's charter to allow a casino if the state grants a permit. If voters choose to change the charter, it would not require approval of the county commission. "I would be surprised if there was any serious discussion about expanding gambling throughout the state," said state Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral. "I can tell you that I would not be in favor of that and generally the House has been conservative in its approach to gambling and has largely looked unfavorably on any measure that would expand gambling." His personal stance: "I'm absolutely opposed to the expansion of gambling throughout the state of Florida." Another state representative, Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres, had a different perspective. "I'm more inclined to let the voters make those decisions," he said. "If we do have a gambling bill," Caldwell said, "I'm going to advocate strongly for a location to be licensed in Lee County, even if we never use it." LEE COUNTY SHERIFF MIKE SCOTT: To somehow suggest that a destination point with a casino is automatically a bad thing seems a bit hypocritical to me.''
www.news-press.com / Oct. 9, 2011

Florida Lawmakers Gloomily Expect $2 Billion Shortfall: The State Week in Review
FL - State lawmakers were supposed to bite the bullet and make cuts in the 2011-12 budget and -- take a deep breath -- things would all get better. But as budget committees met this week, gloom set in again. Medicaid costs are rising, schools need to find money, tax revenues are lagging. Gambling-industry lobbyists, however, had a better week. Lawmakers are talking about the possibility of allowing resort casinos in Florida, and an appeals-court ruling fueled visions of ringing slot machines outside Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, and Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, were working on legislation this week that would allow three resort casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and set up a regulatory gaming commission. The combination of those issues could lead to a flurry of lobbying and deal-making, as gambling interests try to expand or tap into the huge Florida market. "It is truly evil -- in every sense of the word -- that the state would rely upon making its own citizens losers in order to seek economic development to benefit others, and even worse to make its citizens losers to pay the state's bills," Smith wrote in the editorial posted on the newspaper's (Florida Baptist Witness) website. "The supposedly conservative, pro-family elected leadership in Tallahassee need to be statesmen and stateswomen and reject yet the latest permutation of gambling expansion in our state."
flaglerlive.com / October 8, 2011

Florida Lawmakers Going After Tourism Dollars With Casino Resorts
FL - Florida has slowly been moving towards full-scale casino gambling over the past few years. Last year, lawmakers completed a compact with the Seminole Indians allowing blackjack and baccarat at five of the Seminoles seven casinos in the state. A new law allowing three casino resorts would void the compact with the Seminoles, but lawmakers understand that they may have to take a step back to move forward in the future.
www.casinogamblingweb.com / October 10, 2011

Florida Slots Now Available Soon
FL - Despite the appeals court ruling, members of the Legislature expressed their opposition to the expansion of gambling in the state of Florida. Voters apparently don't support this expansion, especially in the Northwest districts.
www.compatiblepoker.com / October 9th, 2011

Florida gambling bill could be filed this week
FL - A bill to allow gambling in Miami-Dade County is being drafted in Tallahassee and may be filed this week - setting the stage for powerful gambling interests to vie over whether Florida will open its doors wider to gambling. The Genting Group, which has invested more than $300 million on property near the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, has hired a group of lobbyists including Carlos Curbelo, who manages a public relations firm and is on the School Board of Miami-Dade County. Scott met with Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson after his election in November, but rebutted reports that said he was in favor of casino gambling.
www.bizjournals.com / October 5, 2011

Internet 'Sweepstakes Cafes' in Hillsborough get warning
FL - They've been run of out Pinellas County, shuttered in Pasco and Polk Counties and now it appears the internet sweepstakes cafe business is running out of luck in Hillsborough County. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has sent letters to the owners of the cafes in the county suggesting they cease what they call "illegal gambling activities."
www.myfoxtampabay.com / 08 Oct 2011

Lawmakers escape into gambling fantasyland
FL - Florida is on the cusp of becoming the Disney World of gambling. Uh, make that gaming -- sounds a little more Disney-like. Bogdanoff and other lawmakers who want to expand gambling have entered the Magic Kingdom. We'll turn your state into one big Disney World of slots, poker tables and roulette wheels! Step right up and place your bets on the new tax -- make that gaming -- revenue machine! ... Florida already has plenty of gambling: Parimutuel betting at 23 sites, the Florida Lottery, poker rooms, slots in Broward and Miami-Dade and eight Indian casinos. And then there are dozens of Internet cafes that operate within what some law enforcement authorities call a "gray area" of the state's gambling laws. But let me tell you, (in Atlantic City) that whole area is like an oasis in the middle of the slums. It was not the catalyst to clean up the area around it." Lawmakers should abandon their dreams of Disney with slots and focus on the hard work of balancing the budget.
www.news-journalonline.com / October 9, 2011

Legislator wants Tampa Bay included in debate over casino resorts
FL - Jones sponsored a bill this spring that would have split up the state into five casino regions, allowing one destination resort to be built in each if the hosting county approved it by referendum. Fresen is now sponsoring the House version of a bill that would permit up to three casino resort licenses across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, where several large casino operators have set their sights. The Genting Group of Malaysia already plans to build a $3 billion resort in downtown Miami that would include casino operations if lawmakers approve. Wynn Resorts, Caesar's and Las Vegas Sands are also eying South Florida properties for future resort facilities. Lee County wants to be part of the discussion, too, said Rep. Matthew Caldwell, R-Fort Myers, where a local developer is already pushing to build a casino resort. "When this proposal starts to get serious traction, I'd like for Lee County to have a slot available to us." The developer of The Forum at Fort Myers has hired a consulting firm to build support and launch a petition drive to expand gambling in Lee County. Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who says he wants the legislation to get a vote on the Senate floor in 2012, has removed Norman and one other social conservative from Jones' committee, paving the way for the bill to move forward. Haridopolos also added Bogdanoff to the panel.
www2.tbo.com / October 08, 2011

Major shift under way in Florida's gaming business
FL - The plan for destination casinos is shaky in Tallahassee, but top political leaders aren't shouting it down yet. Gov. Rick Scott has remained vague, saying only he doesn't want the state budget to be reliant on gaming dollars. House Speaker Dean Cannon, who has previously opposed gaming expansion, has been notably quiet. Senate President Mike Haridopolos has said his chamber would give any destination plan a careful listen and then vote on it. "If someone's interested in investing $2 billion in the state of Florida, I think we're probably going to listen," said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island. Walt Disney World --arguably the single most influential private enterprise in the state -- is dead-set against gambling expansion as potentially harmful to the state's family-friendly image. And history shows that when the Mouse speaks, politicians in Tallahassee listen. The problem with most economic impact studies on the gambling industry is that they have ties to the gambling industry itself. One especially knotty issue is whether new resort-style casinos would put existing gaming facilities out of business. Currently, South Florida pari-mutuels, already struggling to stay afloat in the down economy, face a 35 percent state tax rate. Under the proposals being drafted in Tallahassee, Las Vegas-style facilities would face only a 10 percent tax. Also at stake are millions of dollars in state revenue paid by the Seminole tribe of Florida. At the five-year point, the tribe and state can renegotiate the compact's terms, but tribe officials have warned that if companies like Sands or Genting, which would operate full-blown casinos with card tables and slot machines, open before the five-year point, the tribe could void the compact and the state would have to forfeit a portion of the money it's supposed to be paid. The Seminoles distribute casino profits to their 3,800 tribal members, most of whom live in Florida, he noted. "That money is then spent at local grocery stores, car dealerships, Home Depots and the like," he said. "No other CEO of a gaming company can say that in this state."
articles.sun-sentinel.com / October 09, 2011

Miami Court Ruling Could Lead to Casinos Statewide
FL - "If we're going to have gambling like that why not have a higher class facility with the fancier hotels the amenities that come with it and bring people from the East coast of America." Haridoplos said. "People go to Las Vegas and it's in the middle of the desert. You can image where they'd want to go if the destination was the tropical paradise that is Florida." House Speaker Dean Cannon... Said he's personally opposed the expansion of gambling and said he's skeptical about the bounty of revenue that promoters of the plan say would start flowing into state coffers.
www.wmfe.org / October 10, 2011

Monday Morning Reads: Casinos, drugs and presidential politics
FL - The Sun-Sentinel give... An overview of the tectonic shift that could occur in the South Florida gaming market in the coming months if a destination casino plan goes through. From the story: There is movement on multiple fronts. Two South Florida lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on proposed legislation to bring three huge gambling resorts to Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Existing "racinos" like Gulfstream Race Track and Calder Casino and Race Course are struggling to defend their home turf. And the Seminole tribe, for the moment the uncrowned king of Florida's gambling business, is evaluating whether its complex relationship with Florida, which guarantees the state millions of dollars in revenue each year, should continue.
weblogs.sun-sentinel.com / October 10, 2011

Peltier column: State spending will be set this week
FL - The ruling made it clear state lawmakers are within their authority to expand gambling where they see fit, beyond the seven venues originally approved by Broward and Miami-Dade voters following the 2004 change to the constitution. Bills are being filed to allow for resort-like gambling venues in South Florida. The ruling could also help pari-mutuels in other parts of the state to again seek permission to add slot machines and other games.
www.naplesnews.com / October 9, 2011

Subject: Scott calls casino bill the 'lobbyist full employment act' (FL)
FL - Scott is not opposed to increasing gambling up to a point. ... The governor also said cities and counties should be able to decide whether they want gaming.
miamiherald.typepad.com / 10-11-11

Should Florida allow full-fledged, Vegas-style resort casinos?
FL - There will be lobbyists and legislators and lots of big money involved, but if I were a betting person, I would gamble that Vegas-style, resort destination casinos are coming to Florida. Legislation has been filed that would allow three destination resort casinos in Miami... Dade and Broward Counties.
www.sun-sentinel.com / October 10, 2011

St. Petersburg mayor rejects lone Manhattan Casino project bid
FL - Mayor Bill Foster rejected the lone bid received to bring life back to the slumbering Manhattan Casino, considered a crucial link in the revival of Midtown, the city's historic African-American commercial strip. Foster made his decision Friday after his staff concluded the bid would have burdened the city with too much risk. It will further push back the long-anticipated full reopening of the two-story 1925 building that hosted jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie, but closed as a dance hall in 1966.
www.tampabay.com / October 11, 2011