TAGS: Florida Amusements, Coin-Op News, Florida Gambling Overhaul, Coin Machine, Coin-Only Rule, Sen. Andy Gardiner, Florida Lottery, Sen. Garrett Richter, Florida Anti-Sweepstakes Law, Arcade Games, Arcade Laws, Claw Machines, Skill Crane, Prize Game, Florida Arcade Law
TALLAHASSEE, FL -- State Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) wants the Florida Lottery to be placed under a proposed five-member gaming commission that would be appointed by the governor. It's the latest development in Florida's uncertain gambling landscape -- also impacting amusements -- that lawmakers are looking to overhaul.
According to local news, Gardiner's proposal is the newest potential addition to three gambling-centric bills that Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples), chairman of the Gaming Committee, intends to roll out. The committee is scheduled to review proposals the week of March 3, but Richter does not expect a comprehensive rewrite of the state's gaming rules to be voted upon that week.
Proposed changes cover a wide range of issues, from the "decoupling" of racing from pari-mutuel permits that allow for slot machines and card rooms to the authorization of one destination resort casino in Broward County and another in Miami-Dade County. They also could include alterations to a controversial 2013 law intended to put Internet cafés out of business, which unintentionally impaired amusement games and Florida's adult redemption arcades.
That hastily approved anti-sweeps videogame law requires arcades to have at least 50 coin-operated machines and to limit prize values to 75¢. It also forbids the use of bill acceptors and cashless payment systems on machines. Richter is seeking to relax the 50-machine requirement, increase allowed prize values and eliminate the coin-only rule. He also wants the law to make a clear distinction between amusement and slot machines, and exempt games that dispense merchandise, including skill cranes.