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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: No gambling deal without our approval



House Speaker Marco Rubio is challenging Gov. Charlie Crist's authority to craft a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe.

"It is our position that such a compact will not be valid unless it is ratified by the Legislature," Rubio wrote in a letter today, signed by other members of House leadership. Crist has asserted otherwise, but said he welcomes the Legislature's thoughts.

The letter, which makes clear Rubio's opposition to gambling, relies on a opinion by Attorney General Bill McCollum that federal law does not require Florida to allow the Tribe to conduct gambling restricted by state law. In other words, the Tribe would get slots only, not card games. And McCollum says Florida can demand payment without allowing an expansion.

"The conclusion we draw from General McCollum's findings is that, in its negotiations with the Tribe, Florida is bargaining from a position of strength, not weakness."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:02pm]


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