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Top Florida lawmakers to Genting: Shut up

State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff and Rep. Erik Fresen, the two South Florida Republicans sponsoring legislation for mega-casinos in the upcoming session, don't want Malaysian casino giant Genting to keep touting its plan for The Miami Herald and Omni properties in downtown Miami.

"They messed up the message," Bogdanoff, of Fort Lauderdale, said of Genting officials. "Back off. You have nothing -- you have a pretty picture."

"The rendering that was released was helpful at first," added Fresen, of Miami. "Miami-Dade County was thirsty for a vision of economic development, and that hydrated them."

But hydration, Fresen said, led to "waterboarding," with early supporters of Genting's plan turning skeptical about the massive proposal's scope.

Bogdanoff gave Genting a similar warning in Tallahassee last month, during a Senate committee meeting where she called the company's promises "over the top." She and Fresen spoke in equally strong terms before The Herald's editorial board Thursday morning.

Bogdanoff said Genting had gone overboard in its push for the casino, drowning out any policy conversation. She asked them to "tone it down."

The lawmakers say they don't want the discussion over their legislation to focus on Genting or any of the other large casino operators who want permission to operate in South Florida. Instead, they argue, the debate should be over how to regulate gambling and "redirect" it from small-scale casinos and Internet cafés to high-end casinos that will draw international tourists.

"I am still an opponent of an expansion of gaming," Bogdanoff insisted. "If we're going to have gaming, redirect it."

Echoed Fresen: "If I could hit Control-Alt-Delete, I would do away with the lottery."

As for the Genting proposal, the two said it faces long odds of being built as proposed.

"What you saw as a rendering was just that," Bogdanoff said. "One idea from one person that may never get built."

Though the lawmakers' bill does not require any voter approval -- citing the slots referendum Miami-Dade and Broward voters passed seven years ago -- they admitted that a ballot question may be added to the legislation to make it more palatable to anti-gaming legislators.

"We probably will have to add an additional referendum element to the bill," Fresen acknowledged. "I think it will pass overwhelmingly in Miami-Dade County."

However, he said the recent idea floated by Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez to put a gambling straw poll on the January primary ballot was premature.

"I think it's putting the cart before the horse," Fresen said, noting that a majority of Miami-Dade voters are registered Democrat. "Most of the people in this county will probably not be voting" in a Republican primary, he said.


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It appears that the Chinese who run the Malaysian gambling titan don't understand the subtlties of Florida politics at all.

Sofia Cantino

This is ridiculous- wasn't this her bill? Now she is teeter-tottering??? Typical political bs.

She must be getting paid "more" by Disney or another anti-casino group.

The bottom line is that this proposed resort will bring in thousands of jobs. We need these jobs. We need the tax revenue. We already have casino gambling - its time to revise the corrupt Seminole System and make what a new system that actually benefits the taxpayers and residents of South Florida

Chuck Riley

What was Ellyn Bogdanoff doing in Las Vegas at the Lavo Nightclub at the Venetian Casino with the Chief Lobbyist for Las Vegas Sands?

Sadly, Ellyn has decided to scuttle her own bill because Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson is under Federal Investigation for bribing Foreign Officials and will NEVER be allowed to open a Florida Casino.

Bogdanoff's ego is out of control - yet she knows nothing about gaming and its potential to create jobs and economic opportunity. If you ask me, Bogdanoff is the one who should shut up.

Chuck Riley

Christianberke80 = RogerStone

Thanks for the above rant Roger Stone. Now go back to putting your nose up Nick Loeb's @ss you fraud. Still can't get anyone to hire you yet ?

Serious ?

Genting folks attacking the bill sponsor is a very smart move.

Howie P

These politicians don't know what they don't know. Here's how it works - YOU WORK FOR US, not the other way around. I mean really, how arrogant can you be

Stone will be here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress

The most amusing part about all of this is watching all the user names that Roger Stone keeps signing in with. Nice comedy on a slow Thursday afternoon.


Ellyn, don't you have bigger things to worry about than a drawing of a building?


Looks like a FRAG job to me (sabotage by 'friendly forces'). Stop trying to screw this up! We need the jobs. Go play politics with something else, this is way too important

Roy Jahn

the jobkillers are getting to Bogdaoff

Bull Gator

Indians gave us gambling. Disney sucks $$ out of South Florida. Politicians constantly screw us. At least let Genting bring us jobs.

Jim Donavan

Bogdanoff needs to be waterboarded herself. SHE should SHUT UP! She has no clue about gaming or anything else related to job creation. Where are the jobs Bogdanoff???

Clueless in Miami

Not to Genting blog team: I believe what she is saying it stop scaring everyone away and let the process play out. Your cool renderings and short little China man won't get this bill passed on its own, it's going to take getting the majority of the legislature to get on board. That is never easy, but if you cool things down, it might just happen.

El Arabe Acaba

Get ready for Curbelo to try and make minced-mint out of Bogdonoff and Fresen. Fresen will retaliate by running against Curbelo for School Board, which is where he can make his family some money and also get out of the legislature where he is dead man walking.


Somebody is sleeping with the enemy here. The truth is out there


So if Bogdanoff is now so anti-destination resorts, where are the jobs going to come from? She's just probably getting worried Braman is going to recall her!


What does Bogdanoff know about gaming and its potential to increase tax revenues for the state? Probably not a lot! It’s obvious she's getting pressure from inside the political realm – or maybe from the Seminoles and Pari-Mutuels... Bogdanoff should study Macau and Singapore to understand how many new, unique, and long-term jobs can be created by a destination resort.


I see the pari-mutuel boys have come out to play bloggity boo.


Bogdanoff is a hypocrite – someone should recall her... she is not worthy of being our senator. She led us to believe South FLA would have jobs soon, now she wants to destroy that hope.... Just ridiculous. She’s just another two-faced politician. My guess is someone is paying into her campaign coffer... would be worth some investigation I think.

Jerry K.

We need this resort for jobs and to bring people to Florida. It really shouldn't be political issue. Build the Resort!

Mike Lameyer

This is just one reason I am running against Bogdanoff. She trashed E-Verify, CO-Sponsored Tuition Discounts for Illegal Alien students and tried to give us a Multi Billion Dollar loser called high speed rail.



Where were State Sen. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff and State Rep. Erik Fresen who are sponsoring the Destination Resort Bill 35+ years ago ?

Why doesn’t State Sen. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff and State Rep. Erik Fresen explain with specific details and numbers in black & white about what actually happened to Atlantic City, NJ ?

They next need to explain with specific details and numbers in black & white about what should happen to Miami or South Florida !

If they do not answer those above questions … why not ?

Where were State Sen. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff and State Rep. Erik Fresen 35+ years ago ?

I was actually there in both Las Vegas, NV and Atlantic City, NJ working for the casinos during the 1970's when the New Jersey politicians & New Jersey Gaming Commission and the Las Vegas casino executives & owners made a lot of BIG "promises" to the people in New Jersey and Atlantic City about improving their economy, housing and jobs.

Guess what ? There is still slums and high unemployment in Atlantic City today ( 35+ years later ) while those million dollar casinos are making a lot of money.

WARNING: You are going to get a really BIG surprise if Miami or South Florida gets those BIG casinos in the Destination Resort Bill. Do not make the same mistake in Miami or South Florida ! Please contact all your public government officials and tell them to vote NO against these BIG casinos !

If a Florida Gaming Commission is so important tell them to put it in a separate bill and not in the Destination Resort Bill.

I would like to strongly suggest that everyone go a Google search for both Genting and Colin Au and please learn who they are and what they want to do in Miami.

Here is an example: “ … Genting also hired a slew of high-priced lobbyists and public-relations consultants. State lobbying disclosure forms list 23 lobbyists working for four different Genting entities. Its competitors are conducting somewhat quieter campaigns. Las Vegas Sands hired eight lobbyists, while Wynn Resorts Ltd., listed as Development Associates in state records, has hired four. Among the heavyweights Genting has enlisted are Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a former congressman, and Harkley Thornton, a close friend of Mr. Cannon, the House speaker. According to state records, the company also has contributed $186,000 to the Florida Republican Party, which controls the legislature and the governor's office. .. “ Source: Wall Street Journal 11/29/11

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