Republican Party of Florida Benefits from Casino Drive
The road to casino gambling seems to run through Governor Rick Scott’s office. Scott met recently with the leadership of the Seminole Indian Tribe including newly elected Chief James Billie. The Seminoles thoughtfully brought along a $100,000 for the Republican Party of Florida. The Indians of course oppose the Destination Casino Resort Bill proposed by Representative Erik Fresen and Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff.
Governor Scott also met with Colin Au who heads Asian gambling tyro Genting’s efforts to develop and open a mega-casino Resort in downtown Miami. According to state records, Genting has contributed $186,000 to the Republican Party as well.
Also attending the Genting-Scott sitdown with Au was Foley Lardner Attorney Chris Kies who’s firm represents Genting in the legislature.
It now appears that the Miami-Dade and Broward para-mutuels, the Seminoles and the Internet Cafes which are springing up all over Florida featuring grey market slot machines have joined with the Las Vegas Casino companies in opposing the Fresen-Bogdanoff Bill.
Just the same, Genting’s Miami World Resort has captured the public imagination with its claims of massive job creation and state revenue enhancement. Genting, unlike the Las Vegas Gaming Companies, has made a solid half Billion dollar investment in downtown Miami thus demonstrating a long-term stake in South Florida. Las Vegas operators like Las Vegas Sands and Steve Wynn are more like speculators who decline to acquire properties in Florida until casinos are actually legal.