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The State of Florida Finalizes Gambling Compact With Seminole Tribe

On December 23rd, 2007, a day before the deadline set by U.S. Department of Interior for Florida to make a gambling compact with the Seminole tribe, Governor Charlie Crist passed a 25 year gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe, giving the tribe the exclusive right to feature gaming outside of the counties of Broward and Miami-Dade. For poker lovers, the gambling compact did not answer their dreams of widening gambling hours and larger limit for poker games.

The only poker condition under the gaming compact would permit for larger buy-in poker event, but at least seventy percent of the net poker revenue will be allotted to charity. If Florida fails to finalize a gambling compact, the Seminole Tribe would have been given permission to offer the games on tribal controlled territories without paying anything to Florida.

Under the brand new gambling compact, the state will be given an initial payment of $50 million and up to 25% of yearly gambling profit from slot machines and casino table games like blackjack. If the state gives permission to racing tracks to offer blackjack and baccarat, the Seminole Tribe can immediately stop paying the state. Speaker Marco Rubio and the House of Representatives immediately challenged the compact before the state Supreme Court.

The lawsuit of the House asked the Supreme Court to study whether Gov. Charlie Crist overstepped the boundaries of his power by giving the go signal to the gambling compact without asking for permission from the House.

The gaming compact will be enforced on December 28th, 2007 upon approval by the Department of Interior. Several other states also filed cases against Gov. Crist who have negotiated the gambling compact without asking for approval from the state legislature.


Wednesday, January 16 , 2008
Kim Watson