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Florida Casino Deal Clears Committee Vote

ouse Regulatory Affairs Committee Signs Off

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A bill on the table that would enact a new compact between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe took a a step forward this week. The House Regulatory Affairs Committee approved the agreement by a 12-6 vote Tuesday, according to a report from the Sun Sentinel.

The 20-year deal would give Florida $3 billion over the first seven years and possibly billions more by the end of it. The Seminole Tribe would be able to run craps and roulette at its seven casinos across the state. Under the deal, the tribe also gets the exclusive right to keep offering blackjack at its Las Vegas-style casinos.

The deal, brokered by the governor, faces an uphill battle because it contains provisions that some lawmakers are against. According to the report, the most controversial element to the omnibus proposal remains the decoupling of racing and gambling.

Pari-mutuels would be allowed to stop racing on site but continue with casino operations, such as their poker rooms and slot machines. Some view this as an unwanted expansion of gambling in the Sunshine State. Another potential roadblock to the current proposal is the desire from some lawmakers to see daily fantasy sports regulation included in it, the report said.

The previous compact with the Seminoles was signed in 2010 and expired July 31, resulting a court challenge to the tribe’s casino gambling without a compact. The Seminoles have been able to continue with casino gambling while the deal moves through the legislature.