Courtroom Showdown Between Florida, Seminole Tribe To Be Pushed Back
State And Tribal Group Ask Judge To Delay Trial
The state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe have asked a federal judge to push back a trial over their gambling dispute until the fall, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Originally slated for July, the trial that could decide the fate of the nation’s third largest tribal casino gambling market could happen in October.
The tribe had its five-year compact with the Sunshine State expire last year, and Florida officials want blackjack to cease at the tribe’s casinos. The previous compact gave the tribe exclusivity for blackjack. A new compact was negotiated last year between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminoles, but the legislature failed to approve it because it was an omnibus gambling package.
A guarantee of $3 billion in revenue sharing payments to the state over the next seven years would have allowed the tribe to keep blackjack and add other games like roulette and craps.
The Seminoles are continuing business as usual despite there currently being no compact in place. Tribal gaming is regulated in the nation’s capital. A lack of a deal with Florida could result in thousands of layoffs at the casinos, the tribe said, in addition to preventing further investment in its properties.
For now, the tribe is still running blackjack and paying the state a cut of its gaming win, but that is in jeopardy and the whole situation could be changed by the end of this year. The Seminoles are not required to pay the state $200 million annually, as agreed upon under the expired compact.
Though the legislative session has ended, a special session to fix the current gambling situation is possible, according to an op-ed from the Sun Sentinel.
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