Friday, May 1, 2009

Gambling deal still not settled

The legislative players, including Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, have not yet folded in the high-stakes political poker game between the Florida House and Senate over the possibility of expanded gambling in the state.

The Miami Herald's Naked Politics Blog has the details of the House offer, as presented by Galvano:

  • Seminoles would get blackjack at its South Florida casinos but only Class III slot machines outside of those counties for a guaranteed minimum of $200 million.
  • Pari-mutuels in Miami Dade and Broward would get blackjack and no one would get additional electronic gaming.
  • Hialeah could get a quarterhorse track and substitute half of its races with thoroughbreds but would have to operate a full schedule of live racing. It would get poker rooms but no slot machines.
  • Miami Jai alai could become a dog track.
  • Tax rate on slot machines would drop from 50 percent to 35 percent as long as the state collected $117 million it earned this year; if not they operators would have to make up the difference, no matter how long they have had slot machines.
  • Compact term would be 15, not 25 years.
Galvano also tells the Miami Herald that final negotiations are being left to House Speaker Larry Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater.

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