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Florida and Seminole Tribe Negotiate on Casino Games

Aside from hosting slot machines and poker games, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino could soon be offering casino table games and other Las Vegas style gambling games.

On August 17th, 2007, it was announced that Gov. Charlie Crist has until Tuesday to finish an agreement with the Seminole Tribe regarding the Las Vegas style gambling games which would give the state additional taxes from the Seminole Tribe's revenues.

If a deal cannot be reached before the deadline, the federal government can intervene and give permission to the tribe to feature the casino game without the state getting a share. Under both circumstances, the state's gambling ships, horse racing tracks, and frontons could suffer as gamblers prefer gambling in tribal casinos.

According to David Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the two sides are basically trying to reach an agreement that is favorable for both sides.

The state of Florida wants some of the cash from the Seminole Tribe and will get if it will be allowed to offer games like blackjack and roulette. The Seminole Tribe is seeking assurance that the state will not allow other casinos, racing tracks and jai alai frontons to offer the casino games. Schwartz said that it will benefit the Seminole tribe greatly.

Ralph Haben, the lobbyist for the casino cruise industry said that they will wait for the governor's decision. Racing tracks will have a hard time competing with tribal-owned casinos.

The spokesperson for the Gulfstream Park racing track in Hallandale Beach Mike Mullaney commented that the racing track would petition state officials to level the playing field somehow, like asking for simulcast betting which is restricted in the state or tax cuts.


10 September 2007
News Submitted by:
Jessica Kellerman

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