Seminole Tribe, State Of Florida Reach Gambling Accord

April 7th, 2010 – by Glen Farmer

The State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe have finally reached an accord over the gambling operations spearheaded by the Tribe in Florida. The gambling compact had been a subject of great debate, as games had technically been operating illegal for over two years. The compact had been a major issue, as all parties involved could not come to terms that were agreeable.

Last week Governor Crist had approved of the most recent rendition of the accord. When the Legislature had signed off on the agreement, the compact had finally come to fruition.

Now that the agreement has been reached, the table games that have been operating in a legal gray area will become official. Players will not see a change on the games, but they will see an increased budget. The agreement will provide almost $500 million over the next year, according to early estimates.

The Seminole Tribe has already paid in $270 million dollars, and now Florida legislators will have access to these funds. Over $1 billion dollars will be given to the state over the next five years, beginning with annual payments of $150 million. These payments will rise as time goes on.

Vegas style table games are now legal, and slot machines will continue their licensed operation. The card games carry a five year agreement, while slots receive twenty. The Tribe will have the option to renew at the end of these periods.

The agreement’s tax revenue will not only go to the general fund, but also keep thousands of people employed. Crist initially wanted the funds to go to education, but the funds were ultimately extended to the general fund.

Unfortunately, the gambling compact did not cover the possibility of Florida Online Gambling. While Internet gambling had briefly been explored as a possibility in the Sunshine State, it had failed to move forward. Looking at the length of time it took the gambling compact to be written in to law, the possibility of online gambling in Florida may not be one that is ignored.

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