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Atwater: Gambling bill won't 'contain' gaming

Count Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater among those who never bought the argument that adding three destination casinos to Florida could somehow be leveraged into containing gambling.

The former Republican Senate President recounted to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Friday that same argument was used two years ago when the Legislature weighed the Seminole Indian gaming compact. No matter what anyone says, Atwater said, whenever gambling comes up in the Legislature, "it's never really about containment. They said that two years ago, just do this and that will contain it."

Atwater is on record with the two other Cabinet members, Republicans Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, in opposing the casino bill, saying gambling is an industry Florida doesn't need more of.

-- Joni James, Tampa Bay Times


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Bill Linder

Are they kidding? Gambling is EXACTLY what Florida needs. Where so they think the jobs will come from? How are we going to be able to feed our children with no jobs? Atwater is a stooge and so are Pam Bondi and Adam Putnam. They surly are not looking out for the little guy.

Daniel Aden

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Containment. I still don’t know what this means. In reality what the Attorney General, Agricultural Commissioner, chief financial officer and others of this containment philosophy really want is for gamblers to stop gambling. As is often the case, those who do not understand an activity are often against it. My guess is these officials know next to nothing about gamblers or gambling. It reminds me of the Sunday Blue Laws, and the effort by some miss-guided individuals to stop dancing, drinking, and socializing without the supervision of the elders. In their world, pop comes home from work and gathers the family for readings and discussions on the meaning of life. The kids share their lessons from school and mom bakes cookies, while frisky the cat purrs on the couch. It’s a wonderful world Mr. Finch. Let’s not allow anything to change this image. Keep the world as it is. Just do it my way and be happy.

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