Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe are expected to sign the gambling agreement agreed to late Friday with key legislators at a signing meeting this week -- likely Wednesday
The proposal was promoted as a $1.5 billion deal for the state by Rep. Bill Galvano, the Bradenton Republican and key House negotator. The actual agreement, which is still being drafted, will actually require the tribe to pay a minimum of $1 billion over five years broken down this way: $150 million per year for years one and two, $233 million for years three and four and $234 million for year five.
However, because the agreement will require the tribe to pay 10 percent of its net revenue to the state over the last three years, internal projections done by legislative staff expects the payments to exceed the minimum. Add to that the $287 million that will be in the bank from the tribe -- because it has been sending the state $12.5 million a month since Crist signed the first failed compact in November 2007 -- and both Galvano and Sen. Dennis Jones say they can comfortably predict the state net $1.5 billion over five years.
Promoters say it is the best deal a state has negotitated with any tribe. We can't vouch for that but tribal spokesman, Max Osceola, says they are willing to commit to a minimum payment based on their past performance. "We wouldn't agree to it if we didn't think we could make it,'' he said.
The House and Senate will have the compact language available on Tuesday.