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Flagler track owners blast Crist's gambling deal

Isadore Havenick, Vice-President of Southwest Florida Enterprises, the parent company of Flagler Dog Track and Naples-Ft. Myers Greyhound Track, issued the following statement in response to the just completed gambling agreement between Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida:

“The revised compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe released today is a terrible deal for the people of Florida. The revised compact clearly favors one corporate entity over an entire industry that employs thousands of Floridians and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Florida’s tax base each year.
 “In the revised compact we see how the Seminole Tribe continues to negotiate in bad faith by creating loopholes that shield them from making payments to the state’s Education Enhancement Trust Fund. Allowing payments from the three Broward Seminole Tribe facilities to cease the instant any of the Miami-Dade pari-mutuels operate slot machines is patently absurd.
 “Additionally, the revised compact goes far beyond the limited gaming expansion the legislature strived for during the 2009 legislative session and instead doubles the banked card game casinos in Florida.
 “The bottom line is the revised compact ends competition in Florida’s gaming marketplace before it ever begins by giving the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to class II and III games outside of Miami-Dade and Broward. The revised compact will cost thousands and thousands of Floridians their jobs and the state and local governments will lose hundreds of millions of dollars in reliable, recurring tax revenue.

“Once again, the Seminole Tribe has secured for their own special interest the best deal imaginable instead of honoring the legislature’s wishes to secure the best deal for Florida.”