Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 9, 2016, 2:43 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Florida poised to become Vegas of Southeast

GamblingGambling: Florida poised to become Vegas of Southeast

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist, the Seminole tribe of Florida and once-reluctant lawmakers have signed off on a gambling deal guaranteed to bring at least $1 billion to the state over the next five years.

And after that, Florida would be poised to become the Las Vegas of the Southeastern United States, according to the House's chief gambling negotiator Bill Galvano.

"That's a very real probability. Yes," Galvano, R-Bradenton said. Galvano, Sen. Dennis Jones and representatives of the governor's office and the tribe hashed out final details of the agreement on Good Friday and announced with little notice this morning that they had a deal.

The lynchpin of the deal is the five-year agreement with the Seminoles giving them the exclusive rights to run banked card games, including blackjack, at five of their seven facilities, including their lucrative Tampa Hard Rock casino that brings in at least half of all the tribe's Florida gambling revenue, according to Galvano.

Most important for the tribe is the prohibition against any of the state's pari-mutuels outside of Broward and Miami-Dade counties to run the card games.

"When the tribe is committing this type of money, it's important to know the scope of gaming that we're dealing with and what kind of competition or exclusivity you have," said Jim Allen, chief of the tribe's gambling operations.

The third time could be the charm for the Seminoles' gambling agreement — lawmakers twice before rejected compacts struck between the tribe and Crist.

Galvano had steadfastly refused to allow the tribe to operate the banked card games, although the Seminoles began running them without authorization from the state for at least a year. Federal authorities had repeatedly threatened to intervene and make up their own rules for the games if the state and the tribe did not come to an agreement.

The latest arrangement, which Crist is expected to sign as soon as Wednesday, gives the Seminoles five years to ramp up operations while the state considers opening the doors to the European and Las Vegas-based casinos that have come courting.

That's why the new deal requires that the Seminoles keep paying the state even if another deal is struck with one of the gambling operations.

The five year term also gives the state "an opportunity to catch our breath," Galvano said. "At that point we know what the deal is and we have the ability to decide if banked card games is something we want in our borders."

Under the first two compacts signed by Crist, the money from the tribe would have been earmarked for education. But the new deal allows lawmakers to spend the $1 billion anywhere they want.

"This really bodes well for the future of Florida," Crist, flanked by representatives of the tribe including chairman Mitchell Cypress and a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers, said at a press conference this morning. "The compact will help improve the quality of life for all Floridians and it could benefit the tribe and all our entire state."

The Senate could pass the agreement Thursday, the same day Galvano's Select Committee on Seminole Indian Compact Review is expected to approve it.

"This cleans up and resolves a controversy that has been festering for the last two decades," Galvano said.

Palm Beach Kennel Club owner Pat Rooney Jr. was disappointed with the latest negotiations, however.

He and pari-mutuel owners in Tampa Bay and elsewhere in the state had hoped lawmakers would allow them to operate video slot machines, or "slots-lite" to boost their revenue and compete with the nearby Seminole casinos.

"Just from an economic standpoint, we're at a disadvantage with the product they have," said Rooney, who is running for state House.

Rooney's lobbyists have been walking the Capitol halls for more than a year to drum up support for their issue. Rooney said he's at the mercy of the legislature.

"Sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree. On this one, obviously we feel like if we were given the opportunity to compete we could. They're essentially making the decision that they're not going to allow us to do that," he said.

The Senate's head gambling negotiator Dennis Jones said lawmakers considered PBKC and the Tampa Bay tracks but left them out because "we didn't feel it was a big enough issue to take all the other positions and put them at risk."

Rooney concluded with a statement regarding the Seminole compact and other deals that rang throughout the Capitol on Tuesday: "It is what it is."

"We'll keep fighting. You can fight as long as you want. But at some point it is what it is," he said.

Palm Beach Post

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

22 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by ca-dreamin*.
Page 1 of 2
dpoly1's avatar - driver
PA
United States
Member #66141
October 16, 2008
1672 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 7, 2010, 12:47 pm - IP Logged

Instead of Fiscal Responsibility ... more casinos and ............ Stooges Charlie and the Legislature !

    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
    United States
    Member #73904
    April 28, 2009
    14903 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 7, 2010, 1:03 pm - IP Logged

    I don't know the merits of gambling in Florida but I do know that Charlie Crist is a RINO that needs to be put out to pasture with those of his ilk like Arlen Specter. However the gambling situation develops, the people of Florida will be better served and represented when Charlie takes a hike.


                                                 
                         
                                             

     

     

     

     

                                                                                                       

    "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                --Edmund Burke

     

     

      ca-dreamin*'s avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
      Chicago
      United States
      Member #70678
      February 8, 2009
      889 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 7, 2010, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

      Two of my kids are half American Indian....Seminole is included in the mix LOL I wanna piece of the pie : )

      See ridgy...gambling on Sundays and now Florida wants to become a mini Vegas. Next????

        tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

        United States
        Member #47420
        November 4, 2006
        3930 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 7, 2010, 8:22 pm - IP Logged

        Two of my kids are half American Indian....Seminole is included in the mix LOL I wanna piece of the pie : )

        See ridgy...gambling on Sundays and now Florida wants to become a mini Vegas. Next????

        Not to get personal ca- but how any kids have you got if you got to many??..

          ca-dreamin*'s avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
          Chicago
          United States
          Member #70678
          February 8, 2009
          889 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 7, 2010, 9:02 pm - IP Logged

          Not to get personal ca- but how any kids have you got if you got to many??..

          I have 4 kids...2 different fathers and I was married less than a year.  DON'T even try to figure it out LOL!!!!!!

            tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

            United States
            Member #47420
            November 4, 2006
            3930 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 7, 2010, 9:10 pm - IP Logged

            I have 4 kids...2 different fathers and I was married less than a year.  DON'T even try to figure it out LOL!!!!!!

            Wow ca- your turning on tiggs and at his age that's not easy..Hope all your kids are doing good..Keep up the good work..

              ca-dreamin*'s avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
              Chicago
              United States
              Member #70678
              February 8, 2009
              889 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 7, 2010, 9:26 pm - IP Logged

              Wow ca- your turning on tiggs and at his age that's not easy..Hope all your kids are doing good..Keep up the good work..

              OMG LOL!  Now ya know why I want a piece of that pie!

                tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

                United States
                Member #47420
                November 4, 2006
                3930 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 7, 2010, 9:32 pm - IP Logged

                OMG LOL!  Now ya know why I want a piece of that pie!

                tiggs has a comment to make but would get banned so he's keeping quiet..You rock girl..

                  HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                  United States
                  Member #72448
                  March 18, 2009
                  1228 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 8, 2010, 12:25 am - IP Logged

                  Is this banter "love"? "Love" LotteryPost member style?  Love

                  Lurking

                  Please send me some LotteryPost-style love too!Mail For You

                  Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                  Disney

                    bashley572's avatar - starwars14
                    West Side of Sunny Florida
                    United States
                    Member #55048
                    September 8, 2007
                    3371 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 8, 2010, 4:58 am - IP Logged

                    Ok, getting away from the 'love' fest that is going on here - I don't think Florida would stand a chance of becoming Vegas of the Southeast.  With the large population of old people - they just won't be interested in things like slots!  

                    Green laugh

                    Money won is twice as good as money earned!

                      CARBOB's avatar - FL LOTTERY_LOGO.png
                      ORLANDO, FLORIDA
                      United States
                      Member #4924
                      June 3, 2004
                      5903 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 8, 2010, 6:32 am - IP Logged

                      Ok, getting away from the 'love' fest that is going on here - I don't think Florida would stand a chance of becoming Vegas of the Southeast.  With the large population of old people - they just won't be interested in things like slots!  

                      Green laugh

                      You can't be serious. Do you ever pay attention to the people playing slots? Every time I have been in a casino, majority of the slot players were senior citizens, some with walkers. lol

                        bashley572's avatar - starwars14
                        West Side of Sunny Florida
                        United States
                        Member #55048
                        September 8, 2007
                        3371 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 9, 2010, 6:01 am - IP Logged

                        You can't be serious. Do you ever pay attention to the people playing slots? Every time I have been in a casino, majority of the slot players were senior citizens, some with walkers. lol

                        dude... I was kidding ... Florida would CRUSH Vegas in slots due to the oldes that live there...

                        Money won is twice as good as money earned!

                          beaudad's avatar - animaniacs26
                          Mid Atlantic States
                          United States
                          Member #60043
                          April 3, 2008
                          1422 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 9, 2010, 11:06 am - IP Logged

                          I have family down in Florida......went down there as a kid.......beaudad.....(like to try their casinos...lol)......my wife would like to play Bingo.....cool......

                          " I don't have a gambling problem,  I have a problem winning!"

                            Avatar
                            New York,
                            Panama
                            Member #73078
                            April 4, 2009
                            3490 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 9, 2010, 12:43 pm - IP Logged

                            tiggs has a comment to make but would get banned so he's keeping quiet..You rock girl..

                            Well, Well Well..Oh.. I wonder what the Sweet Wife AKA "The Brain" would have to say about this!!Disapprove!

                            forget what "they" say about youWhat you say about you?...

                            Now, does it count??

                             

                             

                            *Jr$ina