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Seminole Tribe and Florida Discuss Class III Casino Games

On September 8th, 2007, the Seminole Indian tribe has the advantage against Florida in the expanded gaming issue in the state. As a sovereign nation within the U.S., the Seminole tribe is given permission to feature any type of casino game that is allowed in Florida. With the approval of the law allowing "Class III" type of slot machines in Broward County, the Seminole Tribe is allowed to feature Class III games.

These games include blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and video poker. The tribe has proven to be a responsible organization within the gaming community and is hoping to offer such type of gaming that will increase the earnings of the tribe, secure the future of its citizens and help of Florida's state treasury.

The Seminole tribe are currently talking with Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida who has publicly stated his opposition to gambling expansion in his campaign to win the position of governor for the chance to offer class III gaming.

The federal government said that if the state does not properly negotiate with the Seminole tribe, the Department of the Interior, which handles tribal related activities, will decide on whether or not the Seminole tribe may offer the class III games.

If this will happen, Florida will not receive any part of the additional profits from expanded gambling. Gov. Crist is looking for ways to satisfy both the tribe and to prevent any gambling expansion.

This is hard to do because of the pari-mutuels that have slot machines are closely observing the situation and there is a possibility that Florida will also allow these pari-mutuels to offer video table games like those in Pennsylvania and Delaware because they are not under live dealer gaming.

Florida is hoping to ease the budget deficit with the money from the tribe and at the same time, restrict the types of games that the tribe will be allowed to operate. On the recently released preliminary proposals, all of them were different but all agreed that the Seminoles will be allowed to offer blackjack and baccarat but not roulette and craps. The Seminoles agreed to this condition and are hoping to start remodeling their casino sites to accommodate the additional games.

There will be another meeting between state officials, the Seminole tribe and the Department of Interior to review the proposals and finalize any deal. Some of the parts of the proposals that are still being discussed are gaming exclusivity, customer protection, profit sharing, inspections of casino facilities, non-smoking areas and other rules and regulations.


Monday, September 24 , 2007
Emma Green