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Lawmakers Meet With Tribe Over Compact

February 11th, 2009 by flanews

House Democrats met with the Seminole tribe today to discuss the gaming compact.

The tribe wants lawmakers to renew the compact the State Supreme Court ruled invalid in July because it lacked legislative approval. Now other casino owners want in on the action. They say its not fair for the Seminoles to have blackjack if they dont. Seminole Tribe spokesman Max Osceola said the compact isnt about putting their competitors out of business.
Were not here to destroy the pari-mutuels. Theyve been in business since the beginning of Florida. Were in the business too. So we are both in the same business. So were not here to hurt them, said Osceola.

Christian Ulvert, spokesman for the pari-mutuels, wouldnt says if the business has been down since the Seminoles got blackjack almost a year ago.

We are in a downturn economy. I think all our members right now are taking an impact, said Ulvert. Obviously its a new game, a new product that is not allowed to the pari-mutuels right now and we want to make sure lawmakers understand that.

The state could receive 288 million dollars if it enters into a new agreement with the tribe. Pari-mutuels said if the new contract keeps the playing field off balance, theyll lose money, layoff employees, and ultimately the state will lose millions.

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