Column: Seminole Tribe won't give up easily in gaming flap

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Photo from Facebook

Columnist believes the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be heading to court to protect its Class III gaming empire:
You can bet your last dollar that the Seminoles won't fold blackjack, baccarat and other table games easily. Those games are what differentiate the tribe's casinos in Hollywood and Coconut Creek from South Florida's pari-mutuel casinos, which only have slots and poker.

The table games give the Seminoles a competitive edge, and they help pad the tribe's $2 billion-plus annual take from its seven casinos statewide. These games also put roughly $130 million a year into Florida's coffers, about half the tribe's annual $260 million payment to the state.

With so much dysfunction in Tallahassee, and with a broader gambling overhaul going bust because of a battle over Medicaid expansion and the budget, the Seminoles have gotten lost in the shuffle. Besides renewing table games, the Seminoles also likely want to add live craps and roulette (its casinos currently offer virtual versions).

The tribe called for negotiations with Gov. Rick Scott in December, but he deferred to legislative leaders. State Sen. Bill Galvano has been the point man for talks through the spring. But soon, Scott might have to take a more active role.

Get the Story:
Michael Mayo: Seminoles won't fold cards easily (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 5/11)

Another Opinion:
Editorial: Lawmakers should renew Seminole gambling deal (The Tampa Tribune 5/11)

Also Today:
Compulsive gambling conference in Fort Lauderdale May 14-15 (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 5/9)

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Seminole Tribe could gain one-year extension for gaming pact (4/6)
Editorial: Renew Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe (03/24)
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Interview: Seminole Tribe executive discusses gaming compact (3/17)

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