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Florida House Petitions National Indian Gaming Commission to Stop Seminole Casino Table Games

Florida legislators have petitioned the federal government to settle their problem with the Seminole tribe of Florida over the presence of casino table games at tribal casino facilities.

The state House of Representatives announced an impasse on October 23rd, 2009 in the issue over whether the Seminole tribe has the legal right to offer banked card games like blackjack at their facilities and asked the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) to get involved on the matter.

House Speaker Larry Cretul wrote in a letter to the National Indian Gaming Commission that until the banked card games and the Las Vegas-style slot machines are stopped and the Seminole tribe gives some indication that it will follow by the existing gaming law and ultimately its statutes, it would appear that Florida would not benefit in entering into any gaming agreement with the Seminoles.

Gaming experts say that the issue will likely wind up in federal court after crawling its way up through the legal system in the state in recent year. The Florida state Supreme Court decided last year the first gaming compact negotiated between Florida and the Seminole tribe was unacceptable because the Florida Legislature has not approved permitting casino table games that are not allowed under existing state gaming law to be offered on the tribal reservations.

The Seminole tribe argued that it was already too late because the first gaming compact negotiated by Governor Charlie Crist was already published in the Federal Registry before the 2008 Florida Supreme Court decision, which makes the banked card games legal.

 

Wednesday, November 04 , 2009
Thomas Johnson