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State plans gambling study

The House and Senate formally issued a public request for interested companies to submit written proposals to the Legislature on their abilities to perform a comprehensive study on gambling in the state of Florida.

The Legislature is taking a two-year approach to the subject of gambling and will likely come out with a comprehensive bill next year dealing with the subjects of destination resorts, pari-mutuel casinos, the state’s compact with the Seminole Tribe and Internet cafes. To prepare for that, they are asking companies to submit bids on who can best study the issue and answer a number of questions including the economic impact of the current state of gambling and any potential changes, the performance of each sector of the gambling industry and the social costs of gambling, specifically the crime rate and problems associated with gambling addiction.

“The situation demands a comprehensive critical assessment, which is the task President Gaetz and Speaker Weatherford set for the Senate and House gaming committees,” said Senate Gaming Chair Garrett Richter in a memo to the Senate.

The Senate would like the study to be completed by Oct. 1.

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