01/04/2006 1:00AM

Florida slots bill signed

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Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill on Wednesday that will allow Gulfstream Park and three other parimutuel facilities in Broward County to begin operating slot machines within six months.

The bill, passed in December during a special one-week session of the Florida legislature, requires the state's Department of Business and Professional Regulations to draw up rules governing the slots and licensing procedures within six months of the bill becoming law. The bill also allows the facilities to begin operating slot machines under provisional regulations if the rules are not complete within six months.

Voters in Broward County last March passed a referendum allowing 1,500 slot machines each at Gulfstream, Pompano Park, Hollywood Greyhound Track, and Dania Jai-Alai. Until the special session, however, the legislature failed to pass a required bill that would have determined how many machines each location could operate and the tax rates for the operations.

The bill that Bush signed splits the revenue from the machines between the state and the parimutuel facilities at 50 percent each.