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'It's Too Much Money': Florida Legislator Calls For Talks To Reinstate Seminole Gambling Payments

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Miami Herald
The Seminole Tribe and the state have been at odds since the approval of designated player card games in pari-mutuels.

State Representative Evan Jenne called for negotiations with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to reinstate the annual payments of an estimated $350 million suspended by the tribe after a failure to reach an agreement about the future of gambling in the state. "That's just too much money to be left out there unaccounted for in our budget," said the legislator. 

Jenne, a Democrat who represents 99th District which include most of Hollywood and Southern Broward, said the suspension of payments from the tribe could have been avoided. “It was something that was a long time coming, it's been talked about for quite some time it's been nearly a decade since the compact would, should have been signed,” he said. 

The Seminole tribe had warned that they would stop the annual payments, part of an agreement with the state of Florida that guaranteed them exclusive rights to "banked" card games, after the state gave green light to designated player card games in pari-mutuels. In November of 2016, a federal judge backed up the tribe's claim that the new games in pari-mutuels violated the contract signed in 2010. 

“They had a promised of exclusivity when it came to games like that and the state has not done their part in holding up that part of the bargain,” said Jenne. 

Seminole tribe runs over four gaming facilities in Florida.