Florida Governor Faced With Difficult Decisions On Gaming
Florida voters approved Vegas style slot machines almost two years ago, and this past week some Florida parimutuals opened their doors to customers who played the new machines. Although outgoing Governor Jeb Bush opposed the machines, the voters had their way and gave the O.K. to the slots.
New Governor Crist will be doing battle in his first few months on the job with the states Indian run casinos. The dilemna he will be facing is this, if he does not allow the Indian casinos to add Vegas style slots, they will most likely be permitted to use them anyway, since currently they can legally conduct any gaming that is legal in the state.
The trouble is coming in where the Indians have recently built a slot shack, of sorts, out on Alligator Alley, that the state wants them to turn over to the state.
So Crist is faced with the idea that to get what he wants out of the reservations, he might have to allow them to run not only the Vegas slots, but also allow all gaming tables including blackjack, craps, and roullette.
In return the slots, as well as the tables, would be regulated by the state, and a percentage of the winnings would go to the school system just like at the parimutuals. Also, the state would receive the slot shack on alligator alley, and would get a stipulation that, no new casinos will be built and they can only run the ones that are functioning now.
So the decision seems easy, come to grips with the idea that the reservations are going to get the Vegas slots anyway and cut a deal where the state gets a portion of the money, before they are cut out completely in the future.
Also it would be a great tool for Crist to gain popularity with voters around the state who are eventually going to vote full gaming into law anyway, with or without the Governors help.
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