Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pressure stays on today for Seminole gambling deal

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist and members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be on hand today as legislators continue work on the remaining unresolved issue of the session — the gambling agreement.

Crist and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp arrived at meeting of the gambling negotiators late Tuesday to keep the pressure on as progress stalled on the issues dividing the House and Senate on a gambling deal.

"I'm encouraged that they continue to work hard," Crist said, after budget negotiators finished putting the final touches on the budget bills.

Despite the hard work, the rift was still wide between the House and Senate approaches to authorizing slot machines and card games at the Seminole Tribe casinos and expanding gambling for parimutuels around the state.

Negotiators officially met three times Tuesday, but failed to resolve their differences over whether to allow the tribe to operate blackjack and banked card games exclusively at its facilities.

The Senate had offered earlier in the day to allow the tribe to offer only blackjack at the tribe's Immokalee, Brighton and Coconut Creek reservations but giving it the additional card games of baccarat and chemin de fer at its Hard Rock casinos in Hollywood and Tampa.

But Rep. Bill Galvano, the lead House negotiator, rejected that approach, saying that it doesn't limit the tribal games enough.

"It wasn't a real move away from banked card games," said Galvano, R-Bradenton. "When we came into this, banked card games were not legally authorized at tribal facilities and …the tribe still went ahead and put them in Tampa. So that creates a lot of angst for the House of Representatives."

He noted that since it was the House that brought the suit against the governor, challenging the validity of allowing him to authorize card games that were illegal in Florida, "We have to be very careful that we don't reward bad behavior."

Galvano, however, was confident they would reach agreement by Friday. "We're making progress," he said.

Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at

Pressure stays on today for Seminole gambling deal 05/06/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The rise and humiliating fall of Chris Cantwell, Charlottesville's star 'fascist'


    The white supremacists, nationalists and far-right trolls who starred in last weekend's violent Charlottesville, Virginia, rallies have suffered no lack of humiliation in the days since.

    White nationalist Chris Cantwell has had quite the week after being featured prominently in an HBO news program on the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. [Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post]
  2. MLB umpires wear wristbands to protest 'abusive player behavior'


    Major League Baseball umpires wore white wristbands during games Saturday, protesting "abusive player behavior" after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez.

    Home plate umpire D.J. Rayburn wears a wristband to protest "abusive player behavior" on umpires by players as Rayburn heads to his position to call the first inning of a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and and the Colorado Rockies late Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Denver. [Associated Press]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey could regroup but stay clear of Florida


    The remnants of former Tropical Storm Harvey could rebound while two other systems brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to develop into severe weather.

    The remnants of former Tropical Storm Harvey could rebound while two other systems brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to develop, according to the National Hurricane Center. [National Hurricane Center]
  4. Fatal hit and run closes section of Nebraska Avenue


    TAMPA — Police are investigating a fatal hit and run crash early Sunday morning on Nebraska Avenue.