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Regulating Florida

Louis Trombetta, Executive Director, Florida Gaming Control Commission

Regulating Florida

Louis Trombetta serves as the executive director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission. Since April 2022 when the commission was created, Trombetta has had the tall order of consolidating all commercial gaming activity in Florida into one regulatory structure.

His journey to this place began unusually, as an elementary school teacher. Since attending law school, however, Trombetta’s career has been almost exclusively dedicated to gaming regulation, having been a lawyer, chief attorney, and ultimately director of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering (the Florida Gaming and Control Commission’s predecessor organization).

Trombetta’s interest in the gaming industry began with his avid love of competitive poker, as a spectator and as a player. After getting a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York and then a juris doctor from the University of Florida, Trombetta’s curiosity about how poker was regulated in his home state led him to begin working with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in 2013.

He served in several roles with the division, providing legal counsel for several years until becoming its director in 2019, upon which he developed and implemented several new policies for regulating the state’s parimutuel industry.

“With all the forms of commercial gaming (slot machines, racing and poker) at play in Florida, it made sense to have a central administrator,” says Trombetta, “both to conduct regulatory measures and to go after illegal play, which flies in the face of the legitimate industry in Florida.”

A key development during his tenure was the decoupling of racing and poker licensure in Florida in 2021, which paved the way for new sites to potentially be used for gaming.

Trombetta looks forward to addressing new opportunities and challenges for gaming in Florida. Sports betting is the next big item to address from an implementation standpoint. As the legal status of sports betting takes shape, he and his team are prepared to license and regulate the industry accordingly.

Trombetta sees that the future in sports betting requires competitive wagers, such as in-game betting that has been popularized over the last several years. Trombetta also enjoys the colorful personalities of the Florida parimutuel industry, and sees jai alai as unique in Florida gaming.

In addition to his work at the commission, Trombetta is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law, and a board member of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

Michael Soll is president of the Innovation Group, the industry's premier consulting and advisory firm. One of gaming and hospitality's most recognizable brand specialists, Soll's experience includes senior-level management positions with such organizations as Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock Café International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He can be reached at the Innovation Group's Orlando office at 407-702-6648 or at msoll@theinnovationgroup.com.