“Red flags” in Crist-Seminoles gambling deal, Galvano saysby Dara Kam | August 31st, 2009
Shutting down the possibility of any kind of slot machine gambling at the state’s pari-mutuels and giving the Seminoles the right to offer blackjack at any of their casinos could jeopardize Crist and the tribe’s agreement, said state Rep. Bill Galvano, the House’s chief negotiator on the proposed compact.
“Those are red flags,” Galvano, R-Bradenton, said. “We’ll review from here and see where we go.”
Lawmakers laid out a gambling deal for Crist and the Seminoles in a bill the governor signed into law earlier this year.
That proposal allowed the Seminoles to keep blackjack at its Hollywood and Tampa Hard Rock resorts and to offer it at its Brighton and Big Cypress locales in Broward County.
The bill also didn’t mention “Class II” slot machines that look and play like Las Vegas-style slots but are less lucrative for operators.
The compact signed by Crist and the tribe today gives the Seminoles the exclusive rights to operate slots of any kind – including Class II video lottery terminals – anywhere outside of Broward and Miami-Dade counties where Las Vegas-style slots are already allowed.
That could have a devastating impact on the state’s dog and horse tracks, pari-mutuel operators object.