04/11/2007 12:00AM

Florida slots bill advances


A Florida Senate committee approved a bill on Monday that would allow the state's 25 parimutuel facilities to operate up to 1,500 video lottery games each. The bill is sponsored by Steve Geller of Cooper City, Fla., who said the machines would mean a "vast amount of revenues for education."

The bill still faces a tough road to gain approval. It has yet to have a hearing in the state House, and there are only four weeks remaining during the current legislative session.

Gulfstream Park is one of four tracks in Broward County legally allowed to operate slot machines, following a referendum passed in 2006. A similar referendum in Dade County, which would have given Calder Race Course the same right to operate slots, was defeated.

Gulfstream's president, Bill Murphy, said he would not comment on the proposed legislation until he has the opportunity to review the bill.

"Even though we are already operating slots there might be some aspects of the bill that could be favorable to us," said Murphy.