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Governor Signs Gambling Pact

November 14th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Charlie Crist today gave the Seminole Tribe of Florida the rights to offer high stakes Black Jack and Poker at their casinos in exchange for a cut of the take. The deal comes one day before the Federal government threatened give the Indians more gambling with nothing for the state. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the deal has state lawmakers seeing red.

Hear it here: Governor Signs Gambling Pact

governor-with-natives-2.gif

With the stroke of his pen, Governor Charlie Crist ended 16 years of negotiations with the Seminole tribe of Florida over gambling on reservations.

The tribe gets blackjack backgammon, full blown slots and card games for 25 years at 7 locations. In return the Governor says the state gets anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of their revenue. “It is likely for the first five years of this compact, it is expected to generate over a billion dollars, and as much as a half a billion dollars every year after
Tribal Chairman Mitchell Cypress says everyone wins “It is a good for everybody…in our neighborhood as well.

Barry Richard, the attorney who negotiated on behalf of the Seminoles says the only reason they are willing to share at all, is that they are getting something they would otherwise not have gotten “There will be no gaming outside of these particular areas…Miami and Broward; Miami Dade and Broward. Thats what is being paid for.

The deal is already generating friction with the House Speaker who doesnt think the governor has the authority to cut the deal without lawmakers. The questions is..will he go to court to try and stop it.

George Lemieux, the chief negotiator for the governor, says the deal is crafted to avoid any need for legislative approval “there is no provision in our constitution for ratification of this compact.”

But should lawmakers, or voters, expand gambling in the state over the life of the deal, the Seminoles wont have to pay the state a dime.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Education, Gambling, Legislature, Politics, State Budget | 1 Comment »

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