Florida House and Senate negotiators traded new offers Tuesday on legislation that would authorize a compact with the Seminole Tribe and give relief to parimutuels, and will continue talks today with members of the Seminole Tribe expected to attend.
Gov. Charlie Crist and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp briefly attended some of the negotiations on Tuesday. The main sticking point still seems to be blackjack at Seminole casinos, though disagreements remain on smaller issues.
The sides reached agreements on the length of the Seminole Compact (15 years), Seminole insurance amounts, amount Seminoles must pay local governments, method of legislative review for the compact, conversion of certain jai-alai permits to greyhound permits and 35% tax rate on parimutuel slot machines.
Here’s a summary of each house’s most recent offers:
<a href="http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2009/Senate/appbills/offers/gg///Offer_05052009_1500.pdf">SENATE OFFER #3</a>
<strong>Seminole casinos:</strong> Blackjack as only banked card game at the three smallest casinos, all banked games at the other four casinos; slots and no-limit poker in all casinos.
<strong>Electronic gaming: </strong>Will accept House’s position on no new electronic gaming machines, except in counties that have approved gaming referendums; allows historical racing machines in parimutuels with poker rooms that have agreements with necessary associations.
<strong>Poker: </strong>No-limit poker at all poker rooms.
<a href="http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?PublicationType=Committees&CommitteeId=&Session=2009&DocumentType=Budget%20Conference%20Documents&FileName=Conference%20Committee%20Spreadsheet%20-%20House%203.pdf">HOUSE OFFER #3</a>
<strong>Electronic gaming:</strong> None, but also no ban on future introduction of it.
<strong>Quarter horse racing:</strong> Deletes exemption on mileage restrictions for new tracks, allows for 50% of races to be thoroughbreds, allows intertrack wagering without other parimutuels’ permission, permitholders have same purse requirements as thoroughbreds do.
<strong>Banked card games at parimutuels:</strong> None, except for Broward and Miami-Dade if Seminole Compact is voided in future.