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America’s next president will likely face no shortage of critical gambling-related policy decisions, including:
This ongoing series explores 2016’s emerging field of presidential contenders and breaks down each candidate’s history with gambling, taking its order from Paddy Power’s 2016 Presidential Election odds maker.
“Casinos are not the miracle solution to our economic problems.” – Marco Rubio, December 2011.
As Speaker of the House in Florida, now-U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was “adamantly opposed to any expansion of gambling in Florida.”
In 2005, Rubio opposed a measure to allow casino-style slot machines in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Many in opposition to the measure, including Rubio, were concerned about the effect it would have on the expansion of gaming in the rest of the state.
Rubio also voted against legislation in 2007 to amend Florida’s rules and regulations regarding the operation of slot machine facilities.
Notably, as Speaker, Rubio sued Florida Governor Charlie Christ, claiming the governor exceeded his authority by unilaterally negotiating a compact with the Seminole Tribe. Rubio argued that the compact required legislative approval.
In 2010, the Seminoles reached a deal with the state, with the legislature’s involvement, whereby the Seminoles agreed to give Florida $1bn over five years in exchange for the exclusive right to offer blackjack, baccarat and chemin de fer through 2015 and the exclusive right to operate slot machines in the state with the exception of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
With respect to Internet gaming, Rubio was quoted by the Las Vegas Sun in 2012 as saying “I’m not a big fan of expanding gaming on the Internet, especially for revenue purposes.”
Image credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.