Casino Bill Cornucopia

Opponents of expanded gaming are getting a big boost tonight. Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam are joining their fight. General Bondi and Commissioner Putnam says if the state opens the doors to mega casinos an increase in violent crime will follow.

Surrounded by law enforcement officers and business interests, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam plunged into the casino battle.

Adam Putnam / Commissioner of Agic.: “This is an insidious threat.”

Pam Bondi / Attorney General: “We need less gaming, not more.”

General Bondi spent weeks talking to police and prosecutors, and believes if Florida expands gambling, then violent crime will follow. Bondi says gangs are already using the Hard Rock Café Casino in Tampa to cover their tracks. “This is a prime way to launder money.”

Earlier this week several construction and business groups came out in favor of the plans to bring three resort casinos to South Florida.

While politicians and organizations continue to line up on each side of the gaming issue, some state senators are holding out to see what they can get in exchange for a yes vote.

At a Senate Committee meeting, lawmakers discussed loading the bill with new games for parimutuals, a forth resort in Tampa Bay and regulations on internet cafes. Before the bill is ready for a vote a lot of concessions will have to be made.

The bill’s sponsors say their legislation would actually rein in gaming because it sets up a regulatory department. But both Bondi and Putnam argue that lawmakers could regulate the industry without the three new resort casinos.

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  • by Christopher Hoalt Location: P.C.B on Dec 10, 2011 at 09:22 AM
    How would having casinos increase crime? Florida already has 37 casinos, in fact if you google search for "Florida casinos" and look the only game you cannot play in Florida is Craps. Tampa has 3 Indian Casinos with every game but Keno and Craps. So we already had casinos and were OK, why not expand and regulate to make jobs!!!
  • by Dewey Whatley Location: Panama City Beach on Dec 9, 2011 at 07:51 PM
    Well Vote them out of office we need jobs lady pam bondi i will not vote for you again got that
  • by Mike Location: pc on Dec 9, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    Over 80% of the population of Florida are in favor of casino gaming here. These politicians are hippocrites of the worst kind as they support STATE sanctioned lottery, a total rip-off of only 40% or less payout, powerball, numbers, bingo, horse and dog tracks, card rooms, jai-lai,and every other form of gaming which has been available for years. The increased crime scare is bogus as the only thing increasing crime is UNEMPLOYMENT, when the desperate are starving some resort to crime. Money laundring is also bogus as all casinos track and have expert camera's in every casino that watch for every move,especially large transactions. This would create thousands of jobs and satellite jobs along with increased tax revenues and tourisim. Why let the other 24 states get this revenue that already have casino gaming? Florida, needs NEW revenue and this is NEW revenue that will prevent jacking up old revenue prices where we will have to pay more tax. This is a no brainer to legalize casinos
  • by gap Location: panama city on Dec 9, 2011 at 07:38 AM
    They are saying crime would go up. I don't believe that to be true if they let cities that are smaller than miami have casinoes it would be guarded better. Miami is a big city. I feel that the crime level should be looked at when deciding where to put casinoes. Why should south florida have all the money when there is a panhandle that needs to grow.
  • by Patricia Location: Chipley, Florida on Dec 9, 2011 at 06:49 AM
    I live in Washington County Florida. The unemployment rate is huge. Bringing the gaming (Casino) venue to Washington County, specifically EBRO race track would open an oppurtunity for thousands of new jobs and a year round flow of revenue to the area. We need for this county to start growing and providing reasons for people to move here and live in this beautiful area of Florida.
  • by Dave Location: PCB on Dec 9, 2011 at 06:38 AM
    Pam Bondi is looking to move into the political spotlight! Every time I turn around she is in my face fighting for truth and justice. We have had enough of these political tricks. There has been no big influx of crime in any of the thousands of cities that have built gaming facilities. This is just election year bull###
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