On Thursday, the State of Florida appeal a court ruling from November of 2016 by a United States District Judge that gave the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to blackjack until 2030. The filing of the appeal is just the latest development in a long legal battle that has taken place between the state and the Seminole Tribe.
The conflict first began due to a gambling compact that the tribe and state officials had signed in 2010. This agreement gave the tribe the exclusive rights to operate blackjack games in the state. The exclusivity was to continue until summer 2015. However, once the timeline was reached, the tribe refused to stop providing the table game. Officials of the tribe argued that in 2015, the state had been in violation of the 2010 deal terms by allowing pari-mutuels to provide games to consumers that were similar to the games the Seminoles had offered during the compact’s time frame.
Since that time, the tribe and the state had countersued each other to try and solve the issue. In 2016, the two were finally able to reach a new agreement. The new agreement would see the tribe continuing to offer blackjack exclusively and in exchange, the tribe would provide $3 billion in tax money to the state for the first seven years of the compact. Despite the agreement, the deal was unable to pass state legislature.
By November, a ruling was issued by United States District Judge Robert Hinkle that was in favor of the tribe in their legal battle against the state. The judge ruled that state officials had been in violation of the original compact between the state and the tribe by allowing pari-mutuels to provide similar card games. With this new ruling, the tribe would be able to offer blackjack gaming until 2030.
Now, the state has filed an appeal but no specific information has been provided.