The fight in Tallahassee, Florida is still raging on between Governor Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe over their legal rights to provide blackjack casinos to residents and tourists frequenting their establishments and resorts. Scott has walked away from discussions and is now relying on state lawmakers to render a final decision. If an agreement isn’t reached, the two sides will have to duke it out in federal court with a tremendous amount at risk for both sides.
The state receives over $200 million in payments from the tribe in exchange for exclusive rights to offer Floridians 21, which generates over $1 billion each year in revenues. Observers close to the dispute are still unclear as to why the government is refusing to uphold their end of the bargain.
An interesting twist is that due to federal Indian gaming law, state legislators only have 30 days to meet and deliver a resolution or else the tribe can sue them after another 30 have passed. Furthermore, a bitter pill for the Seminoles is if nothing is settled after 90 days, they must remove all tables from their properties.
Each side appears to hold arguments supporting their positions, with an important piece of evidence being Florida granted Gulfstream Park permission to offer electronic blackjack terminals to racing customers. The Seminoles maintain this was in direct violation of the contract’s terms.
The current deal expires at the end of July, everyone hoping to get clarification before that deadline arrives.