The governor has signed a measure (HB 1017) that gives Seminole County voters control over the opening of a cardroom at the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club.

The bill allows the Seminole County Commission to ask county voters decide whether state gambling regulators can issue a license to offer card games at the pari-mutuel.

Currently, Florida law allows the state to issue licenses to pari-mutuels if they get approvals from their city commissions, unless the locations are in unincorporated areas, when the law requires approvals from the county commissions.

The dog track in question has been pushing for years to open a cardroom, but has long been rebuffed by the Longwood City Commission.

This bill was introduced as an effort to make it harder, not easier, for the dog track to get that license. After the 2017 municipal election put three new commissioners on the board who were uncommitted to opposing the license, Republican state Reps. Bob Cortes and Scott Plakon introduced predecessor measure House Bill 6029.

The subsequent bill, the one that was approved and signed, allows the county commission to put the question to Seminole County voters.

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