Move to change Florida gambling rules fails

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The latest attempt to change gambling rules in Florida has failed.
 
Some lawmakers wanted to remove laws that require facilities with poker and slots to also have live racing.
 
The interest behind dog racing in certain parts of Florida has decreased over the decades and the same time there has been an increase in poker rooms and slot machines.
 
The idea of removing the ties that bind the two has surfaced several times over the years. 
 
"Some tracks would benefit from them because they are not making money off greyhound racing but they are making money off poker and slots," said Mike Newlin, general manager of the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club.
 
Newlin said that wouldn't necessarily be the case at his track.
 
"We had a very good year last year and we are doing things differently to attract customers," said Newlin.
 
Newlin said the club is averaging as many as 2,000 people per race. He said that last year their sales went up by 18 percent and they saw a 10 percent increase in betting.
 
With all that added revenue the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club has put $200,000 into this , from a new paint job to new carpet to flat-screen TVs throughout the facility.
 
But the tables may be turning for other tracks that may no longer want to fund live racing.
 
"We will remove the government mandates from dog racing," said one Tallahassee lawmaker before the proposed amendment failed Tuesday.
 
Some economists suggest it failed because Florida would initially lose tax revenue. Others suggested that dog breeders have good lobbyists who encourage the business of dog racing.
 
One thing did pass a committee Tuesday regarding live racing tracks is an amendment that would require tracks to report injuries. That would have to pass the full legislature before becoming law.