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Governor Crist Formally Re-Signs Seminole Gaming Compact amidst Festive Atmosphere

If the Seminole Indian Tribe of the state of Florida has millions of members, as compared to its more than 3,200 official members, Governor Charlie Crist might as well be a lock-in for the United States Senate.

Gov. Crist, who abandoned his attempt last week to try get the nomination of the Republican Party in the Senate election in November 2010 and instead chose to start a no party bid for the Senate, receive a warm welcome from tribal members at an official compact-approval ceremony held on June 2nd, 2010 at the Seminole tribe's Hollywood reservation.

Tribal officials informed their members to "do not forget November". Gov. Crist helped in getting the Seminole compact through the state legislature. The agreement gives the tribe the exclusive right to offer banked card games particularly blackjack in exchange for at least one billion dollars in total payments to Florida over the period of five years.

For years, the Seminoles had sought to form some profit-sharing agreement with Florida without success. Aside from blackjack, the gaming agreement also gives the Seminole tribe the exclusive privilege to offer Class III slot machines outside of South Florida.

There is a significant value for the tribe in having its gambling rights properly stated, as the legal parameters of Seminole gaming have been the subject of at least nine lawsuits in the past.

Governor Crist entered the compact signing to a standing ovation. He said that the approval of the gaming compact took a lot of patience and perseverance to accomplish. Tribal officials said that they are very grateful that Gov. Crist did not abandon the gaming compact talks, even if it dragged on for more than three years.

Tribal council member Max Osceola Jr. told Gov. Crist that being a friend of the Seminole tribe is for life. Governor Crist had already signed the Seminole compact last week but that approval came with no fanfare. The approval on June 2nd, 2010 is more festive which featured the re-signing of the compact under the leaves of the Seminole tribe's historic Council Oak.


Victor Sanchez
Monday, July 19 , 2010