Casino Watch Focus reported that the Florida government passed a deal with the Seminole Indians despite major opposition. Now, the Miami Herald is reporting that the deal has been made official with Gov. Crist’s signature:
With little fanfare, Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday signed the bill ratifying the $1 billion Seminole gambling compact with the state and lowering the tax rate on South Florida parimutuels.
The law gives the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to operate Vegas-style slot machines outside of South Florida for 20 years, and allows the tribe to operate house-banked card games such as blackjack and baccarat at five of its seven facilities for five years. In exchange, the state will receive $435 million this year and at least $1 billion over the next five years.
The bill also opens the door to no-limit poker at parimutuel card rooms, and extends poker hours from 12 to 18 hours Monday through Friday and 24 hours a day on the weekends.
The U.S. Department of Interior must sign off on the ratified compact within 45 days.
With little to no chance of the Department of Interior rejecting the compact, Florida families are in more danger than ever from the impacts of gambling.