On July 31st, the five year gaming compact between the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida and the state, allowing the tribe to offer blackjack and other table games is set to expire. To try and give the tribe time to come to a new agreement with the state, a new bill has been filed for consideration. Rob Bradley, the Regulated Industries Committee Chairman, filed a new bill last Friday (SPB 7088 .PDF) that will allow the table games to continue via the Seminole tribe for an additional year.
The governor and the tribe must create a new compact and then have the compact approved by legislature and the Bureau of Indian Affairs before the compact is valid. Governor Rick Scott of Florida was close to an agreement with the tribe last year but negotiations fell apart before concluding successfully. The governor has since encouraged the tribe to speak with the Senate and House.
In a statement on the new bill, Bradley commented: “Gaming is a complex issue with many stakeholders who have diverse viewpoints, opinions, and ideas. An extension of the current compact is a common sense solution to the time-sensitive environment in which we find ourselves.”
A spokesman for the Seminole tribe, Gary Bitner, has stated that the tribe is currently studying the Senate proposal. With the proposal, the tribe would be able to continue to offer blackjack and other table games at five of their seven casino locations. The tribe would make payments to the state based on a formula created in 2010.