Editorial: Renew Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe

The Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Photo from Facebook

Florida newspaper calls on Gov. Rick Scott (R) to negotiate a new Class III gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe to protect the state's image as family-friendly:
The Seminoles enjoy an exclusive right to house-banked card games until this summer, paying state taxes of at least $260 million annually. Those payments would end with new gaming expansion, but Young's bill would require the two mega-casinos to pay a minimum of $175 million apiece a year and invest $2 billion in development costs.

Should slot machines be approved statewide, that part of the tribal agreement would be broken, too, eliminating that part of the payment to the state. The Seminoles fulfilled their five-year $1 billion commitment to Florida -- exceeding that amount as of February by some $22 million.

Is this all about even more money for the state treasury?

Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature appear reticent about renegotiating with the Seminole Tribe on the compact.

Bradenton Republican state Sen. Bill Galvano, who negotiated that 2010 compact, expressed the pessimistic view that the Legislature might not even engage the Seminoles in a discussion, allowing the agreement to expire. He has been appointed the Senate's top negotiator with the tribe.

While the Seminole gambling interests could lose the banked-card games this year, the tribe's gaming business will not collapse. As federal law allows, a recognized tribe can host games already allowed by any state law.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Don't spread casino gambling across Florida (The Bradenton Herald 3/24)

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