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Gambling Deal Done

August 31st, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe have agreed on a gambling deal. Last minute maneuvering and concerns by key lawmakers kept the clock ticking until mid afternoon on this, the final day to reach agreement. And as Mike Vasilinda tells us, there is a pile of cash riding on the deal.

There is already 162 million, five hundred thousand dollars sitting in the state treasury, paid to the state by the Seminole Tribe, but not a dime of it can go to schools or anything else until a deal is finalized.

That will take an act of the legislature. Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp is anxiously awaiting the cash.

You know, its always been a priority for the governor and me to not only hold education harmless, but to try to increase funding for education, even in these tough budget times, and this will help us do that,” Kottkamp said.

Negotiations took place over a good part of last week in this law firm a block from the state Capitol. The deal to let the tribe keep high stakes poker, black jack and other games has been up in the air for weeks.

As recently as Friday, key lawmakers were raising questions as to whether the governor was giving away too much.

Until lawmakers ratify what the governor has negotiated, the cash stays put.

And if lawmakers balk at the expansion of gambling, the state may never see a dime.

The Governor first signed a Gambling deal with the Seminoles in 2007, but it was thrown out by the state Supreme Court seven months later after state lawmakers successfully argued the expansion of gambling wasnt allowed by state law.

Read the Compact here: 2009831-compact

Posted in Business, Charlie Crist, Gambling, Legislature, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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