The fight in Tallahassee, Florida is still raging on between Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe over their right to offer blackjack at their popular casinos and resorts. The governor has walked away from the discussion and is now relying on state lawmakers to make the final decision. If an agreement isn’t reached the two sides will have to duke it out in federal court, and there is a lot at stake for both sides.
The state of Florida receives over $200 million in payments from the tribe for giving them the exclusive rights to offer Floridians the great game of blackjack, while the Seminoles are generating over $1 billion each year in revenues from the game. Observers close to the dispute are still unclear as to why the government is refusing to uphold their end of the bargain.
The interesting twist to this situation is that due to federal Indian gaming law, state legislators only have 30 days to meet and render a decision or else the tribe can sue them after 60 days has gone by. The bitter pill for the Seminoles is that if no decision has been reached after 90 days they have to remove the blackjack tables from their casinos.
Both sides appear to have arguments proving their positions, with one of the largest pieces of evidence being the fact that the state of Florida granted Gulfstream Park permission to offer electronic blackjack. The Seminoles maintain that this was in direct violation of the terms and agreements between them and the state.
The current deal between the tribe and the state expires at the end of July, and both sides are hoping to get clarification before the deadline arrives.