Brent Batten: You can bet gaming bill will change. Or can you?

John Sowinski, president of No Casinos, a group fighting the expansion of gambling in Florida, believes the law as written would allow the three mega-casinos it would authorize to offer sports book. Only Nevada, and on a more limited basis, Oregon, Montana and Delaware now legally offer sports betting in the U.S.

Brent Batten: You can bet gaming bill will change. Or can you?

By: Brent Batten

It’s a safe bet the measures that would bring high-end casinos to Florida will undergo changes before going to a vote in the Florida Legislature.

Whether or not you’d be able to lay that bet is another matter.

Sports book, the ability to take bets on college basketball, NFL football and myriad other contests, may or may not be part of the proposition, depending on whom you ask.

John Sowinski, president of No Casinos, a group fighting the expansion of gambling in Florida, believes the law as written would allow the three mega-casinos it would authorize to offer sports book. Only Nevada, and on a more limited basis, Oregon, Montana and Delaware now legally offer sports betting in the U.S.

Sowinski cites section 42 of Senate Bill 710, the twin of House Bill 487. The section describes bookmaking, in part, as “any bet or wager upon the result of any trial or contest of skill, speed, power, or endurance of human, beast, fowl, motor vehicle, or mechanical apparatus.” It states that bookmaking is illegal and outlines penalties for it.

Then, in conclusion, states “This section does not apply to slot machine licensees authorized under part II of chapter 551 or resort licensees as authorized under part III of chapter 551.”

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