The end of the negotiating period for a new gaming compact between Gov. Crist and the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida is drawing near. Governor Crist and the Seminole are pressured to get something done before the August 31st, 2009 deadline.
The problem for the Florida Governor is that he has not been given a lot of bargaining room from legislators. The Florida House has been firm in their position that the gaming expansion should not include exclusivity for the Seminole Indian tribe. The House also does not want to permit full blown casino gaming. Those are two issues that the Seminole tribe seems keen on getting their way.
The tribe wants the exclusive right to offer banked card games like blackjack and craps and roulette as well. The latter two games have not been offered but there is still a possibility that the Seminole tribe would agree to a new gaming agreement without those two games. In order for that to be a possibility, the Seminole tribe wants to give Florida less money from the revenue produced by the games.
This is another questionable point that legislators are not inclined to agree. However, Seminole officials believe that if no gaming agreement is done, they may receive the rights to legally expand their gaming offering without giving Florida any of the revenue. Governor Crist has been the guiding hand behind these gaming negotiations.
Crist already has successfully negotiated a gaming compact with the Seminole tribe in 2007 but the Florida state Supreme Court cancelled the gaming compact, stating that Governor Crist did not have the right to negotiate the gaming compact solely. With the deadline approaching, Florida residents as well as state pari-mutuels will be closely watching the result of the talks between Governor Crist and the Seminole tribe.
Thursday, August 20 , 2009