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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

House budget offer includes $400 million from gambling deal



In a move that says to the governor: "Never mind,'' the House budget leaders have offered the Senate a gambling deal that Senate leaders are seriously considering.

It takes up none of the $600 million in loan money offered by the Seminole Tribe but relies on $400 million in gambling money next year - including the $288 million already owed by the Seminole Tribe, plus $100 million more for giving them exclusive operation of Class III slot machines outside of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Read full story on the Gov. Charlie Crist/Seminole gambling deal here.

The House offer expands gambling in the form of $10 million in instant "historical racing" slots-style machines, and allows for the expansion of quarter horse gaming in the state.

The proposal is part of the latest House offer No. 4, which includes House concessions in restoring $100 million in the transporation trust fund and no pay reductions for university and community college personnel.

Meanwhile, details continue to emerge on the Seminole offer. As the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau reported in today's papers, the deal would require a trust be established and the loan costs would be deducted from the tribe's revenue sharing payments to the state.

"The only way the tribe can do this is to borrow money.'' said Barry Richard, the tribe's lawyer. "It can't  be considered indebtedness of the tribe.''

This is serious money, he said. "Anybody who is under the misconception that the tribe is posturing is wrong,'' he said.



[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 5:55pm]


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