The Future of Gambling in Florida Is Addressed by Governor Scott and State Senator Sachs
It has recently been reported that Governor Rick Scott has been negotiating the compact with the Seminole Tribe in Florida. This compact, which is a legal agreement between the state and the tribe, was first signed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2010 but it is due to expire in August 2015.The terms of the compact currently state that the Seminole Tribe needs to give the state $234 million revenue annually and in exchange, they receive the exclusive rights to operate slot machines at four casinos outside of Broward and Miami-Dade. The Seminole Tribe also has the right to operate a variety of card games such as blackjack in four other casinos such as the Hard Rock casinos located in Tampa.
All eyes are on the Governors next move and there are speculations that he will either maintain the existing compact or he will allow other gambling to compete with the tribe while reducing the required annual revenue for exclusivity.
Governor Scott may also allow the tribe to operate additional games such as craps and roulette in return for higher annual returns to the state treasury. To date, Governor Scott has not confirmed his next move but he has stated that he would want voters to decide on expanding gambling in the area.
Meanwhile, State Senator Maria Sachs has told members of the Senate Committee on Gaming that she intends to amend the bill which will allow two additional casino resorts in South Florida. In the November 2012 referendum, 56% of Palm Beach County residents voted in favor of slots in Florida but this was not binding since slot machines are only legal by legislative approval or constitutional amendment.