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Tax break may allow jai alai to stay in Tampa

The Legislature on Friday approved a tax break for the state's six jai alai frontons that could keep jai alai in Tampa on a seasonal basis, beginning in December.

Plans to end jai alai June 29 in Tampa were announced earlier this year because of sagging revenues operators blame in part on the state's tax structure.

The bill approved Friday limits parimutuel taxes to jai alai earnings, as opposed to revenues.

Shane Best, the marketing director for Tampa Jai Alai, said if Gov. Lawton Chiles chooses not to veto the legislation, live jai alai will resume in Tampa a couple of days after Christmas this year and operate for a six- or seven-month season.