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Talk of the bay

Seminoles want out of casino profit-sharing deals

Published October 31, 2005

The Seminole Hard Rock hotels and casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., are such hits that the tribe is trying to buy its way out of a contract requiring it to share the profits.

A Cordish Corp. unit that built the Hard Rock complexes on tribal property gets 30 percent of the net hotel and gambling profits for a decade. The Seminole Tribe of Florida says the total payment is likely to exceed $1-billion, which it wants to keep.

The casinos are a big hit, but the deals that made them possible irked both the IRS and Donald Trump.

The IRS claimed bonds sold to finance the project should not have been tax-free. That has prompted the tribe to refinance the debt with taxable bonds.

Trump is suing Cordish and one of his former employees, claiming they stole his idea for the hotels and casinos, then cut him out of the deal.

[Last modified October 28, 2005, 18:22:02]

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