TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Republican leadership in the Florida House signaled Tuesday it’s ready to pass legislation that would allow Las Vegas-style casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
“I would be willing to talk about gaming in the State of Florida, even expansion, in return for contraction in some areas and passing a constitutional amendment,’’ House Speaker Will Weatherford told the Herald.
However, in exchange for the legislation, House leaders want a constitutional amendment that would require voters to approve any new games in the future. In addition, Governor Rick Scott would have to negotiate a new gaming compact with the Seminole tribe in 2014.
The new Las Vegas-casinos would not be allowed to start business unless the constitutional amendment passed in November.
The plan puts the onus of getting the Las Vegas-style casinos in the court of Governor Scott. According to the Herald, the Seminole Tribe has exclusive rights to operated banked card games at its casinos until July 2015 in exchange for annual payments to the state.
The tribe can stop payments if the state allowed a destination resort casino to offer the same games unless a new deal with the Seminoles is renegotiated.
Scott hasn’t started any new negotiations with the Seminole tribe, according to the Herald, but Scott has received $500,000 in contributions from the tribe and $250,000 from the owner of Las Vegas Sands.
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