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Column: Seminole Tribe a powerful player in gaming debate

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: florida, seminole
Columnist finds out why the Seminole Tribe is so important in the debate over the expansion of gaming in Florida:
Mike Haridopolos has monitored the Legislature as it grapples with new gambling regulations and an idea he pushed unsuccessfully as senate president: new resort casinos in Florida.

Now a political consultant and college instructor, Haridopolos has continued to advise Gov. Rick Scott, who is renegotiating the state’s gaming contract with the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes.

I asked him about the stakes for Brevard taxpayers and the special interests fighting over the issue politically.

Question: Why is this issue so big now?

Haridopolos: The big picture right now is about money. It’s not as easy as “yes, casinos” or “no, casinos.”

Almost half a billion dollars comes into the state through what’s called the Seminole Compact and pari-mutuels. Pari-mutuels are like Melbourne Greyhound Park and its big poker room. There are almost 30 of those around the state.

Get the Story:
Matt Reed: The political fight behind new casinos (Florida Today 3/18)

Related Stories:
Seminole Tribe includes hotel in expansion of gaming facility (3/17)

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