Competitors hoping that the Seminoles loose the deal with Florida state 8th Mar 2015 14:08:06

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Six casinos in Florida belong to the Seminole tribe with the highly profitable Hard Rock casinos in South Florida and Tampa. In 2010, the state and the Seminoles have signed a 20-year contract that gives the tribe the right to operate slot machines and offer blackjack, chemin de fer and baccarat at all its casinos. The state expects revenue sharing in exchange for this right and the sum stated is at least $1 billion over five years.

That right expires July 31 and the tribe has to apply for a renewal of revision. Last year the provision of banked card games was unsuccessful. The Legislature's annual session opens Tuesday and ends May 1. This year, the roughly $230 million a year the tribe would share with the state has not been included in the forecasts state legislators use to craft Florida's budget.

Senate President Andy Gardiner said: "We're already building our budget with the assumption it's gone...For us, it doesn't change how we view the world for the next three years."

Bob Jarvis, a professor of gambling law at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale says that the lawmakers likely are bluffing.

If the provision won't be renewed, the Seminoles will have to stop offering blackjack, chemin de fer and baccarat within 90 days which will lead to 3,000 people losing jobs according to Barry Richard, an attorney for the tribe. He is obliged to keep silence on the negotiations with Scott as the federal government must approve any contact between the sides of the deal.

“The governor is going to take the time that's needed to get the best deal for Florida," said Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz.

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