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Column: Seminole Tribe sticks to its word on gaming in Florida


Filed Under: Compacts | Opinion
More on: exclusivity, florida, revenue sharing, seminole
   
Columnist wonders whether it's wise to expand gaming beyond what's already offered by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and racinos:
We don't know the ultimate answer, but we do know that the Seminole Tribe of Florida has stuck to its word and has been honest brokers.

Expansion of gambling, i.e. competition, is something they were trying to avoid when they signed an exclusivity compact with the state. Since being enacted, the Tribe has successfully operated five full-service casinos around the state, and has already contributed more than a billion dollars to the state economy, with $233-million this fiscal year, and $250-million more coming next year.

Locations such as Hollywood's Hard Rock have become destinations of their own, attracting top restaurants and entertainment,and giving life to a part of region that would normally be off the radar for most visitors.

The Seminoles' agreement on card games with the state expires in mid-2015, and Gov. Rick Scott has wisely already entered into negotiations to extend the provision on games like baccarat and blackjack. which are unique to these destinations.

The Seminoles are a rich part of our state's history. It's a partnership worth coveting. But that relationship, along with the guaranteed cash that goes with it, would be threatened if outside interests get involved.

Get the Story:
Phil Latzman: With tourism in good shape, do we need more gambling? (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3/13)

Another Opinion:
Fred Grimm: Loopholes loom for bill allowing family arcade games (The Miami Herald 3/13)

Related Stories:
Seminole Tribe hopeful for Class III gaming compact this year (3/12)

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