Florida legislators may reach breakthrough in gambling overhaul

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Shannon Elizabeth appears at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on August 22, 2013 in Hollywood, FL (Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – For years, politicians in the Sunshine State have struggled over whether they want to let glitzy Las Vegas-style casinos sprout beside Florida’s sugar-white beaches.

The Republican-controlled Legislature, riven by factions, has long been unable to reach consensus. But GOP leaders insist this may be the breakthrough year for a gambling overhaul in this major tourist destination famous for its family-friendly theme parks.

Nonetheless, the House and Senate have drafted very different gambling proposals. The Senate plan would expand gambling far beyond current state locations. House leaders back a proposed “freeze” on gambling as it now exists.

One major obstacle is the Seminole Tribe, operator of major Florida casinos, which may not agree to any new proposals.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON

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