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Seminole Tribe ad calls Rick Scott, lawmakers to “get it done” with new Compact

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is taking to the airwaves with a new ad urging the public to pressure Gov. Rick Scott and state legislators to “get it done” and renew the gambling agreement known as the Seminole Compact.

Signed in 2010, the Compact allows the Tribe to offer blackjack and other banked card games at seven Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos across the state. The provision ended July 31, with a 90-day grace period allowing for renegotiation and “structured mediation.”

“Get It Done” is a 30-second ad that began running in Leon County on Thursday, reminding viewers of the economic benefits the Tribe brought to Florida over the past five years. A new agreement, it says, would build upon those benefits.

“Seminoles have already delivered 20,000 jobs and more than $1 billion,” the narrator says, “Now a new Compact is on the table with 15,000 more jobs in the largest revenue share in history.”

“Yet, after years of hearings and negotiations,” the ad continues, “still no answer, despite overwhelming public support.”

Then, the ad  touches on the “real risk” in failing to renew the Compact – massive expansion of Vegas-style gambling throughout the state.

“We’ve waited long enough.”

A renewed advertising push coincides with the Tribe’s recent hire of Floridian Partners, the lobbying house headed by Charlie Dudley, to represent them before Scott and the Florida Legislature. Floridian Partners has a history with gambling interests in the Sunshine State; the firm’s previous client was Las Vegas Sands, headed by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who until recently had campaigned to build a destination casino in South Florida.

Attorneys for the Tribe have argued that the state of Florida reneged on its promise of exclusivity when it allowed banked poker games and electronic blackjack in parts of the state, including South Florida. The dispute will be heard by a federal judge in Tallahassee.

“Get It Done” is now available on YouTube.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3gwSOjROqI]

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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