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Seminoles Finally Receives Approval from State Senate to Offer Blackjack

The gambling compact with the Seminoles has been approved by the Florida Senate on April 20th, 2010 with only nine opposing votes from anti-gaming Republicans. Now, it only needs approval by the state House and Governor Charlie Crist, which are both planned to take place next week.

The Seminole tribe will be allowed to offer blackjack at five of their casino facilities, including the Coconut Creek Casino, which plans for a gaming expansion that will be similar to the Hollywood Hard Rock. Aside from that, pari-mutuels in Broward County will receive a tax cut from fifty percent to thirty-five percent.

Mardi Gras officials said that the tax break will permit them to expand their gaming facility. It will also permit them a bigger marketing budget. The tax break should permit pari-mutuel facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties the chance to evenly compete with the Seminole tribe in those areas.

The new compact also helps poker rooms around Florida. No limit poker will be permitted, which could make the state the poker capital in the East Coast. Extended hours of operation for all poker rooms in Florida will also be permitted in this bill.

Dog racing tracks and Jai-alai frontons outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties are still in a difficult situation even with no-limit poker games and extended poker room hours.

A proposal that would scale down their taxes, permitting them to also compete evenly with the Seminole tribe, was approved by the Senate and plans to review the bill are expected to take place soon.

The Seminole compact would also permit bingo-style slot machines at dog racing tracks and pari-mutuel, if they do not have some resemblance to slot machines. Since no such gaming machines exist, it is unlikely this will have any significant effect on any Florida gaming establishment.


Wednesday, May 05 , 2010
Tim Arnell