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Florida tribal gaming deal hammered out

20 August 2007

FLORIDA -- As reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are down to the 'nitty gritty' issues as they push to have a deal in place this week giving the tribe Las Vegas-style slot machines and potentially other gambling options, according to an attorney for the Seminoles.

"The U.S. Department of Interior warned Crist in June to have an agreement largely ironed out by this week or risk the federal government instead allowing the Seminoles to have the slot machines without state regulatory oversight. If that happened, the state could lose out on millions of dollars.

"Barry Richard, one of the Seminoles' attorneys, said the goal of both sides is to have an agreement by this week, but it's unclear if it will happen so soon.

"...George LeMieux, Crist's chief of staff and his point man in negotiations, said he expects the agreement to be reached this week.

"...Even if Crist successfully negotiates a deal, the question lingers whether the Legislature will need to approve it.

"...The Seminoles have argued that since Broward racetrack casinos got traditional slot machines, the tribe legally is entitled to have the devices at its seven casinos..."

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