Florida gambling compact is heading back to square one

Casino Watch Focus has reported numerous times on the situation in Florida regarding the state’s gambling compact with the Seminole Indians.  The Governor is allowed to negotiate a compact, but the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the compact must have Florida Senate and House approval – a decision they came to when Governor Crist exceeded his power and established a compact that expanded gambling by negotiating more state money in exchange for allowing Tribal Casinos to allow table games.

The Florida Senate and House then established guidelines the compact must follow, but the negotiations over the exact details of the compact have been heavily debated and the Seminole’s decision to keep allowing table games during the compact negotiations have been a serious point of controversy.

Now, an online source is pointing to a virtual collapse in negotiations, explaining that the compact is essentially back to square one as time is simply running out:

After months of tough legislative battles, followed by weeks of negotiation between Governor Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe, the deal to settle Florida’s gambling laws is about to be thrown back to the starting point. Influential state Representative Bill Galvano told the Sun-Sentinel that there would be no special legislative session to approve Crist’s agreement, and that a new gambling bill would probably come out of next year’s session.

Although Crist’s package follows generally the guidelines established in the legislature, mounting complaints by track casinos and poker rooms have led a backswell to second-guess the proposed compact.

“The members have raised issues beyond just the compact and the pari-mutuel side, and looked at issues as large as how do we deal with gambling in Florida as a whole,” Galvano told the Ft. Lauderdale paper. “We are a gaming state. And we have allowed ourselves, by piecemeal authorization, to get into a situation where our gaming is not the benefit it could be to the state of Florida yet it has the negative impacts.”

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