Editorial: Limit non-Indian gaming in Seminole Tribe's compact

Blackjack tables at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. Photo from Facebook

Florida newspaper supports a new Class III gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe as long as provisions affecting non-Indian facilities are pared back:
Under the compact, announced by Gov. Rick Scott last month, the Seminoles would guarantee payments of $3 billion to the state over the next seven years in return for the right to keep offering blackjack at their Florida casinos and to add table games such as craps and roulette. With state funding scarce for critical services in health care, public safety and other areas, those dollars could be put to good use. They could also make more of Scott's proposed tax cuts both feasible and fiscally responsible.

Seminole Gaming CEO James Allen recently told us that maintaining blackjack at the tribe's casinos would preserve 3,500 jobs, and the new table games would trigger up to a $2 billion expansion of its hotels and other facilities. Under the compact, the tribe would agree to create 4,800 more jobs, along with 14,000 temporary construction jobs.

So far, so good.

But the new compact, which would replace an expired section in the 2010 compact between the state and the Seminoles, also includes multiple provisions that expand gambling outside of the tribe's casinos. Dog and horse tracks and jai-alai frontons with slot machines in Miami-Dade and Broward counties would be permitted, with legislative approval, to add blackjack. Lawmakers also could authorize slots at a dog track in Palm Beach County and a new facility in Miami-Dade. There's even a provision allowing the state lottery to sell tickets at gas pumps.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Narrow deal on gambling before OK (The Orlando Sentinel 1/9)

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