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Email insights: No Casinos says it’s not good to be the king – of slots

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It’s good to be the king, except when you’re known as “Slots King of the World.”

An email from the Orlando-based anti-gambling group No Casinos says the newly renegotiated Seminole Compact would bestow the dubious title of “Slots King” to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, by allowing “one or more tribal facilities to have the most slot machines in the world.”

According to the proposed agreement, No Casinos says an average of 3,500 slot machines would be permitted in each of the seven tribal casinos, with a cap of 6,000 machines for any single facility.

The 6,000 figure would overshadow other well-known casinos such as Foxwoods in Connecticut (which has 4,800), the Borgata in Las Vegas (4,100), and Caesars in Atlantic City (3,027). If ratified, the Compact could result in one of the Tribe’s Hard Rock Casinos surpassing the Venetian Macau, with 3,400 slots, as the largest casino in the world by gambling square footage.

No Casinos President John Sowinski, a vocal opponent of the deal announced by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this month, says that it violates the spirit of the original compact signed in 2010.

“Allowing the Tribe to have the most slot machines in the world is not a ‘cap’, it is a giveaway that makes the tribe the ‘slots king of the world’,” Sowinski said.

Sowinski also takes issue with a provision that the Compact could allow a nontribal casino in Miami-Dade County, as well as the addition of slot machines and blackjack for South Florida racinos.

No Casinos is against the expansion of gambling in any form and bristles at an agreement that confers the title of “gambling king” to Florida.

Since the updated Compact still needs approval by state lawmakers in the upcoming 2016 Legislative Session — many of whom are also hesitant to expand gambling — it is still yet to be seen who, if anyone, will get a chance to wear the crown.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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