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Seminole Gaming Compact Could be Troublesome for Florida

On October 7th, 2007, the state released the latest proposal for a twenty-five year gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe from the state of Florida but it did not state the most important factor: the state's part in the casino's profits.

The latest draft has a lot of conflicting clauses that could permit the Seminole tribe from giving some money to the state while still featuring Las Vegas style slot machines, blackjack and baccarat.

Dan Adkins, the chief gaming executive of Mardi Gras Gamming in Hallandale Beach said that it is not a good deal for the state. Adkins said that the state is not allowed to allow the Seminole tribe to offer games that are prohibited elsewhere in the state of Florida.

Adkins may be interested in one clause in the draft that does not prohibit Broward and Miami-Dade county pari-mutuels from acquiring casino table games like blackjack and baccarat if the legislature will allow it. It would also require the Seminole tribe to follow the same poker room regulations like in the pari-mutuels, which is an operation hours of twenty-four/seven to 12 hours everyday.

But Adkins is not content. He said that with the new draft of the proposal, the Seminole tribe can feature electronic roulette and craps, slot machine like gaming variations that are not allowed at the pari-mutuel facilities.

Barry Richard commented that the Seminole tribe have agreed to pay the state $50 million as an initial payment $100 million annually after, which sounds okay until you read it carefully that the total amount that the tribe will pay is less than ten percent of their yearly gambling revenues.

The Seminole tribe, which is considered a sovereign nation cannot be taxed by Florida and they are not currently paying anything for their gaming operation which is considered Class II gambling.

The pari-mutuels in Broward pay about 50% of their profits from slot machines to Florida. While the state legislature imposed the pari-mutuels with different kinds of restrictions like time limitations, the Seminole tribe has a lot of money for marketing, advertising and different kinds of promotions.

According to the new draft, the Seminoles could set aside the agreement if Las Vegas style slot machines will be allowed in any county in Florida beside in Broward and Miami Dade.

Payments would also be rescinded by the Seminoles if the voters in Miami-Dade pass the slot machines, if the Broward and Miami-Dade County get casino table games and if the tribe's gaming profits fell to $1.37 billion. The new draft of the gaming compact would also allow the tribe to stop payments if the authorities failed to halt "illegal gaming".


Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Marissa Patterson