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Progress Made for Seminole-Florida Gambling Compact

Gambling News - August 16th, 2009 - Written by Glen

The battle for blackjack and card games in Seminole casinos, as well as their exclusivity, has taken a turn for the neutral. The '07 compact agreed to by Governor Charlie Crist, one that gave them the exclusive rights to table based card games in the State, was over turned by Florida Courts, citing that Crist did not have legislative approval when putting the compact into play. This is what the Seminoles want to go back to, but legislators have refused their submission.

Under the compact from 2007, the Seminoles would have the only tables with blackjack and similar card games within the state. They would be required to kick the State $100M a year for these rights, but the legislators are looking down the barrel of this gun with a different idea in mind. Though an agreement could not be reached, hope is on the horizon. The National Indian Gaming Commission was the straw grabbed by the parties, and the Commission will end up arbitrating the deal.

Either way the scales tip, someone is on the bottom - maybe both. If the Seminoles have their way, pari-mutuel gambling locations may also be allowed to have these table games. The State is expected to take a portion of proceeds either way, though analysts are debating whether or not the enormous chunk of cash the Seminoles are willing to put to the state for exclusive rights would make the deal worthwhile. Pari-mutuel locations in Florida already have racing and poker rooms, but it turns out that expanded card games in the Pari-mutuel facilities could further boost revenues.

The issue has been in the works for many months, and still a compromise has not been reached. Both sides had been threatening federal interdiction, but when it comes down to the bottom of the issue, the federal panel could end up hindering both sides. August 31st is the deadline for a compromise, and yet still progress is slow - but at least now progress is being made.

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