Casinos in Florida May Soon Shut Down
Floridians who enjoy risking all-or-nothing in hopes of winning big at the many casinos across the state may soon have their hopes dashed. If the state and the Seminole tribe do not reach a deal by Aug. 31st, the casinos could be forced to close.
State lawmakers and the Seminole Indian tribe are in negotiations to keep all of Florida's Seminole-owned casinos in operation. The state and the Seminole tribe had previously reached an agreement, but that agreement was overturned by state lawmakers, which has forced a new set of negotiations.
The Seminole tribe currently pays the state three to five hundred million dollars each year in return for permission to operate their Vegas-style Hard Rock casinos throughout Florida. In the current round of negotiations, the Seminole tribe is asking for exclusive rights to all slots located outside of south Florida.
If the state legislature does allow slot machines at dog and horse tracks outside of south Florida, the tribe would be allowed to reduce their payments to the state.
Some state lawmakers who have knowledge of the negotiations process--including Gov. Charlie Crist, who made the original deal two years ago--say they are optimistic that a deal will be made.
If no agreement is made by the Aug. 31st deadline, it is expected that Attorney General Bill McCollum will request that the casinos be shut down.
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