Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 5, May 2010, Posted On: 4/29/2010
Florida Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Approve Tribal Slots And Blackjack
by Staff Reporter
gaming, tribal gaming, Florida casino, Native American gaming
TALLAHASSEE, FL -- The Florida House on April 19 approved a proposed 20-year gambling compact with the Seminole tribe by a vote of 74-39. The state Senate passed the compact on April 15 by a 29-9 vote. The measure now awaits signature by Gov. Charlie Crist, a strong supporter, and formal approval by the U.S. Interior Department, which regulates Native American gaming.
Once effective, the compact will grant the Seminoles a five-year exclusive right to operate slot machines and blackjack tables in Florida. The Sunshine State is expected to realize $1.3 billion in tax revenues from the deal from 2011 to 2015.
Also under terms of the compact, Las Vegas and European casinos can begin competing against the Seminoles with their own slots and blackjack venues starting in 2016. Video lottery machines owned by street operators were not legalized by the deal; tribal officials said they require some exclusivity in the gambling market in order to protect their investment. Read more.