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Proposed deal to swap old gaming permits for slot machines

"There isn't any appetite on the part of the president to have this issue hang over the session unless we're really making progress. The indications I get from the House are the same. The Tribe is willing to work, but they are dubious." For the past two years, Gov. Rick Scott and legislators appeared to make progress on renewing the compact and then things fell apart. In December 2015, Scott signed a $3 billion deal with the Tribe that would give their blackjack card counting seven casinos exclusive permission to operate craps and roulette, in addition to black jack, and continue their monopoly to operate slot machines outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. In exchange, the state would receive nearly $2 billion more over the life of the compact than the current agreement. The dog track in Palm Beach would get slot machines and the parimutuels in Miami-Dade and Broward could add black jack, but if lawmakers approved of any gaming expansion beyond that, the Tribe could stop paying the state. Although the measure passed a Senate committee, it was then postponed indefinitely after senators attached blackjack odds a companion measure that authorized six additional slots licenses outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, thereby imperiling the exclusivity clause of the compact. Despite the setback, the Tribe has continued to make monthly payments to the state that totaled $306 million in 2016 and said in a statement Monday that the Tribe's representatives "have met with Gov. Scott as part of their ongoing effort and continuing desire to finalize a new gaming compact with the State of Florida." But the parimutuel industry is restless.

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