The Seminole Tribe of Florida has a five year gambling compact with the state of Florida which is set to expire in July. When the contract was set up it had a 90 day extension attached to it, so the tribe could have time to negotiate or stop operations if a new agreement could not be made. The Seminoles and current lawmakers have yet to reach a new agreement. The Seminoles have asked the question as to whether they have to stop their card game business if a new agreement is not signed before the July expiration date and 90 day extension after that period comes to an end.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano has said the 90 day provision was attached to the original compact because the lawmakers five years ago felt negotiations may not be ended by the July deadline. He also stated that Governor Rick Scott could modify the existing agreement to expand the games, but the Legislature would still have to sign off.
The Seminole Tribe rejected a proposal by Senate Regulated Industries Chairman Rob Bradley. Bradley was trying to extend the current compact for a year to give both sides time to work out the issues.
Galvano believes the new agreement will be similar to the one ending soon. The parimutuel facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties would be separate issues from the laws regarding tax rates or additional games in the race casinos just as they were separate issues for the 2010 agreement.
The sticking point for a new agreement is with the card game expansion the Seminole Tribe may want. “[Governor Scott] could modify the existing agreement to expand the banked card games unilaterally, subject to ratification by the Legislature,” Galvano has stated to the press.