Florida continues to work on gaming compact

Florida continues to work on gaming compact

Card games are key to reach to a deal on the Florida gaming compact.

Florida and the Seminole Tribe continue to work on a new gaming compact and may soon reach a deal.

US.- Florida continues to negotiate a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe and card games may be the key. The state has offered greater restriction on designated card games to fulfill with the tribe’s request.

The government plans to use bingo as a replacement for card games at pari-mutuel operators. That way, it hopes to reach a deal with the Seminoles to approve a new gaming compact and get more revenue.

Betting at dog tracks could be another way to replace card games. The Seminoles would serve as a hub for the segment and would get a piece of the cake. Not only would they launch sportsbooks but they’d also get a cut from bets outside their venues.

“The sweeteners won’t offset the loss in revenue if designated player games are outlawed,” pari-mutuels’ lawyer John Lockwood said. “If these tweaks are anything like the tweaks they’ve proposed in the past, nobody will even offer the games.”

“Everything you’re talking about is clearly part of what would be being negotiated, but there are not any conclusions on those subjects,” Sen. Wilton Simpson explained. “It would not be accurate to pick out any detail and say, ‘OK, this thing has absolutely been agreed upon.’”

Racing against time

On May 3, the current session will expire, which is why the state needs to pass a new compact to secure the tribe’s payments.

As there were no official propositions yet, Senate President Bill Galvano -who played a key role in the previous deal- didn’t include the tribe’s money in the upper chamber’s proposed spending plan for next fiscal year.

“[Online gaming] has come up. Nobody in the Senate has agreed that online gaming is something that the tribe should have,” Galvano said. The tribe, however, may want Florida’s gaming compact to include iGaming and sports betting.

“We’re midway through (session), but those types of negotiations are valid to continue even if we go past session and into the summer. I think if we continue to operate in good faith, as I’ve mentioned to you all in the past, there are things that are important to the tribe, and we’ll see where we go. But in an abundance of caution and in prudence, we’re not going to incorporate dollars (in the budget) at this time that aren’t guaranteed,” he added.

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