Latest gambling offer: Seminoles get blackjack, tracks don’tby Dara Kam | May 5th, 2009
The Seminole Tribe of Florida could keep blackjack at all of its casino resorts and also offer baccarat and chemin de fer at all but their Immokalee, Cypress Creek and Brighton locales.
Under the latest Senate offer, blackjack’s not in the cards for Miami-Dade or Broward race tracks but all tracks with card rooms would be able to hold no-limit poker.
House negotiator Bill Galvano said the 3 p.m. offer will keep the talks alive.
“This is a meaningful offer. It gives me confidence that negotiations should continue,” Galvano, R-Bradenton, said.
Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, also in charge of the gambling proposal, also agreed to the House’s 35 percent tax rate for Miami-Dade and Broward county horse and dog tracks, a 15 percent drop from what they now pay.
The two sides also agreed to allow simulcast racing at pari-mutuels throughout the state if they also have cardrooms. They also agreed to try to collect sales taxes on hotel rooms and other items from the Seminoles. The tribe already collects a hotel room surcharge but does not remit it to the state as other Florida hotels are required.
The Senate backed down from a previous plan that would have allowed Broward and Miami-Dade county tracks to offer blackjack and would have given Palm Beach County voters the ability to authorize slot machines at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.
Alexander and Galvano are scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m.
Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said the two have about 24 hours to finalize a deal in order for lawmakers to vote for it before the session ends on Friday.