The state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe have been in a stalemate when it comes to blackjack and other casino games. The Seminole Tribe had an exclusive deal to offer such games within the state, with the compact ending in July. A provision allows the tribe to offer card games for 90 days in the absence of an agreement. Talks have finally resumed between the parties to create a new deal before the October deadline.
If a deal is not created, the state says the tribe will have to stop offering the banked card games which would include blackjack. The tribe say they have the right to continue to offer the games without a new compact with the state saying that the state has already violated the compact by allowing others to offer electronic versions of the exclusive games.
Speaking with The News Service of Florida last week, Rob Bradley, the Senate Regulated Industries Chairman, stated he had met with the tribe on the issue. Bradley, along with Governor Rick Scott’s lawyer and Bradley’s House counterpart were in discussion with the tribe.
The original compact for the blackjack and additional casino games was created by the tribe and former Governor Charlie Crist. The agreement, which was signed in 2010, stated that the Seminole tribe has until 90 days after the expiration of the compact to continue offering the banked card games. The five year agreement expired on July 31st.
Discussions of a new compact stopped during the spring regular legislative session and just last month, the tribe requested mediation in the dispute. Tim Curio is the general council for Governor Scott, who was in on meetings with the tribal representatives over the past few weeks, as well as Bradley and Jose Felix, the House Regulatory Affairs Chairman.
Bradley stated he is hopeful that a point will be reached that there can be a consideration and debate on the subject, pointing out that progress is being made in the discussions with the tribe.