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Seminoles and Crist announce gaming agreement

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April 06, 2010

The announcement came today that the Seminole Tribe and Governor Charlie Crist came to an agreement; banked card-room games will now be legalized. This includes games like Blackjack which is already being played at the Tampa Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

State lawmakers are in support of the new bill. Eager to generate money, the state is looking at a $3.2 billion deficit. The tribe will pay an annual fee of $150 million. The first payment for this year will also include past payments. The money is currently being held in a trust and will be available with a new compact. It will generate around $435 million total to the state.

Compact negotiators, in the past, have designated the money for education. Republican Bill Galvano, the House's main compact negotiator, stated on Tuesday that the new compact does not state how the state should spend the money. Legislature will have the final decision.

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