Founded last year in May, the Gaming Control Commission (GCC) in Florida is planned to take over the responsibilities of the Pari-mutuel Wagering Division (PWD) which is a part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Currently, the PWD is in charge of gambling operators, however, the GCC will take over effective from July 1 this year. Just ahead of the transition, the GCC was urged to take action against the illegal, “gray” gambling machines operating in the state.
Gambling Lobbyist Urges GCC to Take Action against “Gray” Games
The GCC held a meeting this Wednesday. At the meeting, Marc Dunbar, a longtime gambling industry lobbyist, urged the new gambling watchdog to take action, according to a report released by Florida Politics. He pointed out that the gray market industry in Florida brought shootings, organized crime as well as murder.
“Please communicate your existence to local elected officials and local law enforcement. It’s going to be important as they move forward looking at these kind of operations,”said Marc Dunbar during the GCC meeting this Wednesday
Dunbar asked the GCC to collaborate with local law enforcement as well as lawmakers and take action against the “gray” slot machines. According to him, one of the reasons why no action was taken against “gray” slot machines was because the PWD didn’t have the relevant authority. But considering the planned changes, this situation may turn rather quickly.
Plenty of Legal Gambling Activities Are Available
Chuck Drago, GCC’s commissioner, outlined that joining forces with law enforcement and starting a sweep for “gray” slot machines may prove to be challenging. He explained that the challenge is the result of law enforcement agencies not being familiar with “gray” market slot machines.
Currently, Florida offers plenty of legal gambling entertainment for its residents such as online casino and poker, as well as land-based casinos. With that in mind, slot machines are currently limited to pari-mutuels and Tribal casinos within Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The regulations are so strict that it is illegal to own a slot machine or even own parts of a slot machine elsewhere in the state.
Besides casinos, Florida is also on its way to opening its sports betting market. While the state has legalized the activity, lawmakers are yet to make the final step and approve the launch of sports betting.