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Florida House and Senate Supports Different Gaming Compacts

On April 24th, 2009, legislators in Florida are at odds over how to proceed with the expansion of gaming in the state. One thing that legislators seem to agree is that the new gaming compact proposal from the Seminole tribe and Governor Charlie Crist is not acceptable.

Representative Bill Galvano said that their approach to the gaming compact is not about solving a fiscal problem. They are facing budget related problems but acquiring a line of credit from the Seminole tribe is not a good way to improve their budget and it is not best agreement for the state. Galvano added that what is the best agreement for the state depends on which state politicians the gaming question is asked to.

Florida senate approved a proposal that would introduce full blown gaming expansion to Florida. The Florida House wants to command the Seminole tribe to discontinue offering blackjack and baccarat. The two divisions of the state government have different plans regarding the matter. Governor Crist has been trying hard to find a median between two different gaming plans.

The gaming compact that Gov. Crist is proposing would permit the tribe to continue offering blackjack and baccarat but not other games. It would be a compromise between the two plans of the House and Senate. Legislators are quick to say that it is not gaming expansion that is the main problem with the new gaming compact but the monetary aspect. The Seminole tribe would pay $1.1 billion in the first two years of the gaming compact, then nothing in the third year.

After that, Florida's portion would be based on the gaming earnings on revenue from the Seminole casinos. Galvano said that they are focusing on what is best for Florida's future. He added that the gaming payments is a good short-term solution for their problems but it will lead to long-term difficulties for Florida and its businesses.


Monday, May 04 , 2009
Tim Arnell