Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Seminole Tribe finally came to an agreement in regards to gaming in the state, reaching a $3 billion gaming deal. However this deal is currently in jeopardy as the Florida Legislature may reject the deal. The decision may be made not to approve the gaming deal, even though the money would help the state financially.

On Thursday, the Florida Gaming Congress held their annual meeting at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort of Orlando, with Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano in attendance. Galvano is an author of a former deal Scott had been involved with and stated during the gathering of gambling industry executives that the gaming compact created last month by the governor and the tribe needs to have more input from operators of horse racing, dog tracks and additional parimutuels before it will be considered by legislature.

The Legislature may be more concerned with gambling statewide rather than helping the Seminole’s deal exclusively. Galvano stated during the gathering that there is a real possibility that the compact will not pass during this session. If the new compact is not passed, the state may face a new legal challenge by the Seminole Tribe on blackjack, which was part of the last deal.

If a new compact is not agreed upon, the tribe will have to stop offering such card games, according to information provided by Galvano. The Seminole Tribe CEO, James Allen, stated the tribe is within their legal rights to continue to operate the card games.

In a previous interview, Allen stated that the tribe’s goal is not to litigate the matter. The tribe would prefer to reach some kind of resolution, have a compact signed, and then continue to have a positive relationship with the state of Florida and continue to move forward for the next 20 years.

Allen is hopeful that the new compact will pass as the Tribe has negotiated with the Senate, House and the governor to create a ‘great foundation’ as the session takes place. According to Galvano, the compact will be reviewed by legislators by the second week of the 60 day session. The session begins on Tuesday. Galvano believes that if all concerns are to be addressed, it could take until the 2017 session.

Parimutuel companies are happy with the news that the state will take time to consider the compact, as they are not happy with the new negotiated deal. With the new agreement, the Seminole Tribe would have exclusive rights to operate craps, roulette and blackjack games in their seven casinos. In exchange, the tribe will offer revenue sharing payments for a 20 year time frame worth some $3 billion.

 

 

One Response

  1. Steven Norton

    While Craps and Roulette will bring the Seminole resorts to full casino status, the revenue share with he State will far exceed the revenues earned from the new games. And if the new compact is approved by the Legislature, it allows the State to explore online gaming and allow for a modest increase in tracks with slots and Instant Racing machines. While the Legislature might tweak the deal, it would be foolish to reject it, because the Federal Courts could re-establish the old compact, without the Governor’s $3 billion revenue sharing deal. This minor increase in casino games will have no negative impacts on Orlando’s many family resorts and attractions. And extending the Seminole compact will reduce the likelihood of destination casino resorts, like those in Singapore and Macau, that so scare the Disney organization.
    Addressing the issue of slots at additional pari-mutual’s, reducing or eliminating the need for live racing or Jai-Alai performances, and considering Fantasy Sports; Florida’s Legislature might want to separate the issues into different bills. The many outcomes of the Federal Government getting involved in a State’s rights issue, puts $billions at risk and could damage the adult attraction value of full casino resorts.

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