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The Gaming Discussions Between Florida and the Seminoles

The ongoing battle for banked card games in Seminole casino facilities, as well as the issue of their exclusivity, has been in a stalemate as the two negotiating sides cannot settle in a compromise.

The 2007 gaming compact agreed to by Governor Charlie Crist, one that handed the tribe exclusive rights to offer card games like blackjack in the state, was cancelled by the state Supreme Court, stating that Gov. Crist did not have any legislative power to approve the deal. This is what the Seminole tribe wants to go back to but the legislators refused to give in.

Under the 2007 gaming compact, the Seminole tribe would have the only blackjack tables and other banked card games within Florida. They would be required to give the state $100 million annually for these gaming rights. But legislators are not keen to give the Seminoles these rights. If a gaming agreement could not be reached between the two parties, the National Indian Gaming Commission will need to intervene to finalize an agreement.

If the Seminole tribe has their way, the pari-mutuel facilities may also be permitted to offer banked casino table games. Florida is expected to take a part of the earnings either way, although gaming analysts are debating whether or not the big amount of money the Seminole tribe is willing to give Florida for exclusive rights that would make the agreement worthwhile.

Pari-mutuel facilities in Florida already offers racing and poker rooms but card games in state pari-mutuels could further increase revenues. Both sides need to come up with an agreement that is acceptable to both parties before August 31st, 2009.


Tuesday, September 08 , 2009
Kim Watson