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Seminole casino workers to lobby lawmakers

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Workers at Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino are taking a field trip to Tallahassee on Wednesday, according to a news release from the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

More than 100 of them, including table games dealers, will be asking lawmakers to approve the new Seminole Compact and save their jobs.

On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott met with tribal leaders in South Florida, where he was told up to 3,700 current casino employees could lose their jobs if the Compact isn’t approved by the Legislature.

The agreement grants continued exclusive rights for blackjack to the Seminole Tribe in return for $3 billion over seven years to the state.

It also contains provisions that critics – including lawmakers – say expand gambling in Florida, such as allowing the tribe to offer craps and roulette.

“The current Compact included a 5-year table games provision, which expired in July 2015,” the release said. “If the new Compact is not approved, the Tribe’s right to continue offering table games will be decided by a federal judge in Tallahassee.”

The employees will gather in the Capitol Courtyard at 11 a.m., then disperse to meet with individual House and Senate members.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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