Seminoles Look To Add Reservation In Polk County, But No Casinos
The Seminoles have done a good job of getting what they want when it comes to gambling expansion in Florida. The Indian Tribe has negotiated a compact with lawmakers in Florida that gives them exclusive rights to blackjack in the state.
Now, on the surface, it appears as though the Seminoles may be angling for an additional reservation where they possibly could put a new casino. Officials in Polk County, however, believe there is no way under the compact that the Seminoles would be allowed to add a gaming facility.
The Seminoles have purchased land in both 2006 and 2008. The land was purchased where the former Scandinavia USA development resided. The development is now defunct, and the Seminoles claim to need the land for housing.
The tribe has grown their Tampa reservation to the point where additional housing is needed. The tribe will propose housing and a future commercial development. A casinos has not been brought up as part of the plans.
Under the compact signed last year, the Seminoles would not be permitted to open another casino. The state, however, has the right to revisit the compact after five years, and at that time, they may look into giving the Seminoles the right to expand their gaming enterprise.
In the next couple of years it is likely that lawmakers will expand casino gambling for pari-mutuel facilities. There are lawmakers that have already began discussing online poker regulations, and others who are pushing for Las Vegas-style casino resorts.
The Seminoles applied lat year with the US Department of the Interior for trust status on the land they purchased. Polk County Attorney has already met with the Seminoles and will likely back the request to construct a reservation in the area.
February 14, 2011
Posted By Terry Goodwin
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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