CLEWISTON, FL. -- Governor Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida today released detailed results of The Seminole Compact Accords. The Seminole Compact Accords effectively represent an addendum to the original Compact first negotiated between Governor Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The Seminole Tribe has a reservation in both Hendry (at Big Cypress) and Glades county (at Brighton), with highly advertised gambling in Immokalee and Brighton, as well as a Broward county casino and one in the Tampa area.
Approval now rests with Members in both Chambers of the Florida Legislature, who have been openly and publicly looking for ways to address Florida's budget deficit.
The Governor says 45,000 new Florida jobs will potentially be created, and provides the following explanation:
· Financial Relief: An up-front payment of $600-million to help alleviate the state's multi-billion-dollar deficit without having to resort to painful remedies; $1.1 billion in new revenue available for Florida over the first two years.
· Education Funding: Dollars available for education are equivalent to paying the salaries of more than 12,000 Florida school teachers.
· Solidity: Utilizes the financial strength of the Seminole Tribe the only investment grade gaming company in the world today.
· Jobs: Generates a projected 45,000 new Florida jobs at a time of record unemployment in the state, and establishes Florida as a "destination resort" with more choices than ever before. The Seminole Compact Accords would also protect the jobs of thousands of Floridians currently employed by the gaming industry.
· Limits Expansion/Access: Limits gaming to existing locations currently operating or authorized to operate; the Tribe also agrees to adhere to the state's age limits.
· Competitive Concessions: Recognizing many legislators' concerns for providing Florida's pari-mutuels with a level playing field, the Tribe has agreed to a number of concessions that will help the state's pari-mutuel industry including allowing 24-hour operations, adjusting poker limits, ATMs on the casino floor and credits to players club members.
Further, the Tribe confirmed today that they would support the proposed 15% tax rollback requested by pari-mutuels on all Class III gaming operations for the benefit of all of the state's pari-mutuels and racing-related interests.