Compacts | Opinion
Column: Seminole gaming deal no longer about children

"The biggest difference between two earlier gambling agreements between the Seminole tribe and Gov. Charlie Crist, and the latest compact poised for legislative approval in the next week?

Hint: It's not about the kids anymore.

Instead of being earmarked for education, the tribe's revenue-sharing payments will go to the state's general revenue fund, according to the ratifying bills that have been drafted by the House (HB7221) and Senate (SB622).

"Do it for the children," Crist implored legislators last April as compact talks stalled.

"We want to do whatever we can to get that money for Florida's children," Crist said in January as negotiations resumed.

The original 2007 compact, which the Florida Supreme Court scuttled because Crist bypassed the Legislature, specifically mentioned that revenues would benefit "the education of Florida's children."

Before rejecting last year's sequel, legislators called for the Seminole payments to go to the state's Education Enhancement Trust Fund. That's the same pot where Florida lottery profits and slot-machine taxes from South Florida pari-mutuel casinos go.

But this time, the kids went bust."

Get the Story:
Michael Mayo: Third time should be charm for Seminole gambling agreement (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 4/15)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Seminole casino compact a good deal for Florida (4/12)
Seminole casino compact easily clears first legislative vote (4/9)
New compact for Seminole Tribe moving towards approval (4/8)
Seminole Tribe signs a third compact for Class III gaming (4/7)