Negotiations For Expanded Gambling Set To Begin In Florida

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Some of the same lawmakers that threw their weight around in criticizing Florida Governor Charlie Crist for signing a gambling compact with the Seminole Indians are now reaching out to the Seminoles for help.

House Speaker Ray Sanson is expected to announce a committee today that will be responsible for negotiating a deal with the Seminole Indians. The deal would most likely be similar to the one that Crist signed late last year.

We previously reported that the reason these lawmakers tried to void the original compact was because they were not involved with the decision making process. Now, through the formation of this new committee, they have verified our concerns.

The Seminole Tribe has already paid the state money to operate the blackjack and baccarat tables that exist at their Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. Even though the state Supreme Court ruled that the compact be void, the games continue at the casino.

The state, now with a sense of urgency thanks to a major budget deficit, is ready to negotiate a deal that would keep the games live and legal at all Seminole casinos in Florida. In return for the legality of the games, the Seminoles would begin paying parts of their casino revenue to the state.

Republican Representative Larry Cretulof Ocala will head the new committee. Bill Galvanao would most likely be the one in charge of doing most of the negotiating with the Seminoles.

“The fact that this committee is being created and talks are going to take place confirms what many already believed of the American governmental system. Politicians are only out for two things, power and money. In this case, the (governor) Crist compact was not good enough for Florida legislators because they were not involved. Now, they will be involved and the deal will be almost identical to the original one,’ said political advisor Gregory Jernder.

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