Florida gaming bills fail to cross finish line

Florida gaming bills fail to cross finish line

Florida legislators appear to have failed in their latest effort to approve gambling measures – including the Seminole Tribe’s new $3b gaming compact – after a key Senate committee decided not to bring the matters up for a vote.

The Florida legislature is set to wrap up its work for the year on March 11 and hopes were high that the 20-year compact Gov. Rick Scott worked out with the Seminoles in December was in the bag. But additional last minute proposals put forward by the House Finance & Tax Committee on Monday proved a bridge too far for Senate leaders, who tabled the bills on Tuesday.

Senate leaders told local media that the bills stood a faint chance of being revived at the next meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. But doing so would be the responsibility of Sen. Rob Bradley, the sponsor of the bill that would have ratified the Seminole compact, and Bradley told the Miami Herald that he’d be “very, very surprised if we saw any action on this issue this session.”

Bradley said the bills became too overstuffed with gaming options – including approving slots operations in five additional counties, allowing horseracing tracks with slots and card rooms to scrap their live racing operations, and requiring voter referendums on any future gaming expansion — to find sufficient support for passage. Bradley characterized the House committee’s surprise 122-page gambling proposal as “too many ornaments added to the tree.”

The snafu also likely put a temporary freeze on the state’s efforts to regulate daily fantasy sports operations. The DFS legislative efforts had been bundled into the Seminole compact over fears that the tribe could have cited a standalone DFS bill as an expansion of gambling that violated the terms of its new compact.

If Bradley fails to revive his bill on Thursday, legislators will have to wait until 2017 to reconsider the proposals. In the meantime, the Seminoles continue to make monthly payments of around $100m under the terms of the old, expired compact, which allowed the tribe the exclusive right to operate slots outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The Seminoles had also enjoyed the exclusive right to offer house-banked card games like blackjack, but that deal expired last July. The state and the tribe are currently embroiled in a federal lawsuit over the tribe’s right to continue offering the card games, a fight that will likely reach a resolution before the new compact can be approved.

The new gaming compact would have allowed the Seminoles the exclusive right to offer craps and roulette games at their casino operations. In exchange, the tribe agreed to allow limited slots expansion by other operators in two counties and to make guaranteed payments to the state of at least $3b over the compact’s initial seven-year period. All of which now appears moot for another year.

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NBA Tuesday Preview & Free Pick – Houston at Utah

NBA Tuesday Preview & Free Pick - Houston at Utah

The Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz clash this Tuesday night in a battle between two teams fighting for a playoff spot in the NBA’s Western Conference. Vietbet has listed the Jazz as four-point home favorites and the betting odds for the total have been set at 200.5. The Rockets are an even 28-28 this season and clinging to a half-game lead over Utah for the eighth and final postseason spot in the conference. Last Friday’s 116-100 victory against Phoenix as eight-point road favorites snapped a three-game straight-up skid that included losses to Golden State and Portland on the road. Houston is just 3-5-1 against the spread in its last nine games and the total has gone OVER in its last three outings. James Harden led the way in Friday’s win with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. On the year, he is averaging 28 point per game and shooting 42.6 percent from the field. As a team, the Rockets are averaging 105.2 PPG and hitting 44.4 percent of their shots from the field. They are ranked 27th in the league in points allowed; giving-up an average of 106.7 points a game. Utah fell to 1-3 both SU and ATS in its last four games following Sunday’s 115-111 loss to Portland as a three-point road underdog on Vietbet’s closing line. The total went OVER 196.5 points and it has gone OVER in four of their last five games. The Jazz are now 27-28 SU with a 28-26-1 record ATS. They are 18-10 SU (16-11-1 ATS) at home this season and the total has gone OVER in three of their last five games at home. The Jazz have now scored 111 points in back-to-back games as opposed to a scoring average of 98.1 PPG that is ranked 25th in the NBA. The main strength of this team is still on defense with a 96.8 points-allowed average that is the fourth lowest in the league. Gordon Hayward remains the team’s leading scorer with 19.9 PPG and he has now scored at least 19 points in each of his last five starts. The home team has covered the spread in the last five games between these two and I am looking for this streak to continue with the Jazz winning on Tuesday night both SU and ATS. It also helps that they are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games.

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Basketball Betting — Hot Blazers Host Nets

Basketball Betting -- Hot Blazers Host Nets

At this moment we are the first to admit that the Portland Trail Blazers are a little like a freight train right now. And a team that looked as if it was headed toward a “rebuilding” year may be on a path to the playoffs. On Tuesday night they will face a team that is still deciding which direction to go in next when they square off against the Brooklyn Nets in a game that starts at 10:05 PM ET at the Moda Center in Rip City. BetAnySports customers can get reduced juice on this game, but the wagering doesn’t have to stop at the opening tipoff, as they can also challenge the basketball betting odds in real time through the magic of Live Betting Extra.

With ten victories in its last eleven games, Portland now possesses the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff order. Of course, nothing is guaranteed them, as the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz (who play each other on Tuesday night) are right behind them. But they are perhaps the biggest surprise in the league this season, as they have been able to overcome the loss of players who accounted for 76 points per game last year. A big key to this resurgence has been the play of CJ McCollum, who played a minor role during his first two years in the NBA, but is averaging just a shade under 21 points. he joins Damian Lillard (25 ppg) to form one of the most explosive backcourts in pro basketball.

The Nets knew that when they took on veterans like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, they were going to have to do some rebuilding of their own someday. And they have indeed come crashing hard. Ownership got fed up with general manager Billy King, and also lost patience with Lionel Hollins, who was fired as coach and replaced by assistant Tony Brown. The assumption is that Sean Marks, who was recently named the new GM, will pick his own coach after this dismal season is over.

How dismal? Brooklyn is 15-41 straight-up and 27-29 against the points, while Portland is 29-27 straight-up and 32-24 ATS. This comes after a run in which they have gone 14-3 SU and 13-4 ATS over the last 17.

In the basketball betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Blazers are big favorites:

Portland Trail Blazers -11.5 Brooklyn Nets +11.5

Over 210.5 points -110 Under 210.5 points -110

What has been the bright spot for the Nets? The play of Brook Lopez, who does what a lot of pure centers don’t do much of these days – score. He’s at 20 ppg, and he will represent a challenge for, among others, his former understudy with the Nets, Mason Plumlee, who went over to the Blazers in a trade. Plumlee has essentially joined with Meyers Leonard to give Portland a boost up front, although it is virtually impossible to replace the production of a guy like LaMarcus Aldridge, who had left via the free agent route and landed in San Antonio.

The Nets, by and large, do not defend. They are next-to-last in the NBA, allowing 47% shooting, and they have yielded 50% or higher in four of their last seven contests. Lack of defense has obviously been one factor in this team’s performance against the total, as they have gone “over” in ten of the last thirteen.

BetAnySports customers who have followed this team know that they were playing at a very slow and deliberate pace under Hollins, who employed that same approach when he was in Memphis. Brown has committed himself to stepping things up, hoping for a better result, and the Nets have shot almost 41% from three-point range since he assumed the reins. In the last twelve games that figure has been 43.7%, which is best in the NBA. In six of the last nine games they have had 100 points or more.

The Blazers were extremely impressive in their first game out of the All-Star break, humbling the Golden State Warriors by a 137-105 count. Lillard had a monster game, with 51 points, and he has nailed 22 triples in his last four outings. For Brooklyn, this is the start of a nine-game road trip.

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