Paula Dockery doesn't support expanded gambling bill as currently proposed

Paula Dockery
  • Paula Dockery

Sunshine State News is reporting that economic reports released yesterday show that the revenue from three high-end resort casinos being proposed by 2 South Florida Republican lawmakers - may not cover the lost annual revenue from the Florida Seminoles or other pari-mutuel facilities.

But even before that news broke, Polk County GOP state Senator Paula Dockery was critical of the bill, saying it picks winners and losers, something supposedly anathema to Republicans who believe in free markets.

The bill, sponsored in the state Senate by Fort Lauderdale Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff and in the House by Miami Republican Erik Fresen, would consolidate all gambling in the state into one new department.

As reported by the Palm Beach Post, nominees for a seven-member commission, appointed by the governor, would be selected by a panel comprised of appointees picked by the House speaker and Senate president, similar to those that nominate judges. Commissioners would have to be approved by the Florida Senate. The commission would decide who gets to operate casinos in the state, issue licenses and have broad investigative powers.

It's that choosing who gets to operate casinos in the state that bothers Dockery.