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Framework for resolution on gambling emerging from House negotiations

The framework of a gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe is underway as House negotiators and the tribe's lawyers are working toward finishing in time for lawmakers to start counting on the cash this session.

The details are in flux, but sources close to the negotiations say that both sides are moving toward compromise. It would allow the state to bank the $430 million from a gambling agreement this year and then walk away from the compact in three to five years if lawmakers decide to expand gambling and end the tribe's monopoly on blackjack and other table games.

``It's one of the ideas that are on the table to break the logjam,'' said Barry Richard, a lawyer for the Seminoles. Tribe representatives have been meeting with Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, to resolve the impasse over the gambling agreement signed between the tribe and Gov. Charlie Crist last August.

``I think we're very close,'' said Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, a key member of the House leadership. ``I think we'll have an agreement that we can work with.'' Read full story here.