June 26, 2024 3 min read

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Florida Governor Shields Gambling Regulator from Public Records Requests

Senate Bill 692 will protect the home addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of birth of both current and former commissioners from public disclosure

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, signed a bill into law last week that will make it more difficult for people to obtain personal information about members of the Florida Gaming Control Commission

Florida Legislature Unanimously Passes Bill to Protect Gaming Commission Members’ Details

Senate Bill 692, which sailed through both houses of the state legislature on unanimous votes with barely any public attention or debate, will shield from disclosure current and former commissioners’ home addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of birth — as well as those same details about their spouses and children.

The legislation’s rationale, as spelled out by lawmakers in committee reports is that people who sit on the commission need protection because they might make enemies while doing their jobs, reported The News Service of Florida. They could be subjected to physical harm or emotional suffering if unhappy parties regarding gambling disputes were able to find them.

According to the bill, the legislature “finds that the release of such personal identifying and location information might place the commission’s current or former commissioners and their family members in danger of physical and emotional harm from disgruntled individuals whose businesses or professional practices have come under the scrutiny of the commission. In addition, such personnel may be subject to threats or acts of revenge because of the duties they perform.”

New Law Protects Gaming Regulators from Retaliation by Disgruntled Industry Players

The Florida Gaming Control Commission, established in 2021, oversees the state’s gambling industry, ensuring compliance and regulatory standards are met. The commission’s regulatory role has inevitably led to scrutiny from various businesses and professional practices within the industry, sometimes resulting in contentious interactions.

On June 21, DeSantis’ office issued an announcement that he had signed SB 692 — along with 13 other bills from various sessions. The swift and unanimous approval of this bill underscores the broad legislative support for enhancing the security of the individuals responsible for regulating the state’s gambling sector.

In other news, Gov. Ron DeSantis gave his approval to SB 1638 which authorizes the use of gambling revenue for environmental initiatives such as removing invasive species and maintaining wildlife corridors. The legislation guarantees $536 million over the next fiscal period to back essential conservation activities financed through a 2021 deal on gaming with the Seminole Tribe. He also signed HB 5203 into law which allows confiscated assets to be sold by the Florida Gaming Control Commission in order to generate income for state programs.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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