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Seminole Tribe agrees to gambling compact

The Seminole Tribe of Florida voted to approve a gambling compact with the governor Friday at a closed-door meeting of its tribal council in Hollywood, according to people close to the negotiations.

But in what may be a deal-breaker for lawmakers who must ratify the agreement, the council refused to accept some provisions sought by legislative leaders.

Gov. Charlie Crist and the tribe have until Monday to meet the deadline set by the Legislature to complete an agreement to authorize slot machines, blackjack and other banked card games at its tribal casinos.

If Crist signs the agreement, he is expected to call a special session in October to have lawmakers sign off on the deal, as required by law.

The governor wouldn't comment on the tribe's decision Friday. "Stay tuned for details Monday," he said at a Fort Lauderdale news conference to introduce his Senate appointee, George LeMieux.

LeMieux, Crist's former chief of staff, served as the governor's lead negotiator with the tribe.

Earlier this week, the governor and the tribe agreed to a plan to pay the state $150 million a year in exchange for operating the games at all seven of its casinos. But that went farther than the guidelines set by the Legislature, which authorized the card games only at the tribe's Hard Rock casinos in Hollywood and Tampa and its two other casinos in Broward County.

Seminole Tribe agrees to gambling compact 08/28/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 28, 2009 10:16pm]
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