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Senators Ante Up on Seminole Gambling Compact

The Senate's Regulated Industries Committee briefly workshopped, but did not vote on, a new Seminole Gambling Compact bill that gives four Seminole casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties the exclusive rights to banked card games and strips the Governor's office of the ability to make a compact that does not comply with the bill.

The bill proposes that Seminoles be given the righht to run poker and other banked card game for 15 years. The Seminole Tribe's demands for exclusive rights have been contested by pari-mutuel operations, such as thoroughbred and horse racing tracks, that are worried about competition.

If the bill passes, the Governor would have 60 days to reach a compact that complies with its statutes. If the compact does not pass the Legislature, pari-mutuels could offer electronic gambling.

The two groups could have spoken on the bill at the workshop.

Only, they didn't.

Maybe it was too early in the morning. But it might be because Sen. Dennis Jones, sponsor of SB 622, said the committee has not been in direct contact with either the Seminoles or pari-mutuels. It has been in contact with a House of Representatives Committee that is negotiating with the Seminoles, he said.

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