Gov. Rick Scott came to visit our editorial board Tuesday, and it's funny that the question didn't come from me, but the first topic was gambling and Florida.
Even though he hasn't declared a position on destination casinos or even the compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, if I read between the lines, it looks like he's supporting the idea of some better control, instead of watching the legislature pick and fight and grind out how state's policy.
"Everything has been done happenstance," he said. "We ought to have an overall plan and it ought to be coordinated."
But, that said, having the legislature balance out the wishes of those wanting destination casinos vs. the pari-mutuels vs. the Seminole Tribe vs. Disney vs. those philosophically opposed isn't such a bad thing, either, Gov. Scott said.
"I believe in representative government, so it should work," he said. "But I'll be active when I need to be active."
He did speak out against internet cafes, saying "that was never the intention of the law."
Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, co-sponsored an ambitious bill last year that included destination casinos. But lost in all the flashy pictures of Genting was her idea to get gambling under control here in Florida, to have professionals (outside the legislature) run things, like Las Vegas does. I think that's what Scott was referring to, but with a roomful of topics and questioners, I didn't spit out the followup, and there's no guarantee he would've gone down that road anyway.
But her point, like many others' is still out there: Gambling is here, no matter what we think of it, and the way we add or decide on what games can be played or who gets what is highly political, volitale and just not the best way for our state to do business.
And Scott is nothing if not a businessman.
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