Florida’s illegal gambling expansion appears to be stopped

The Florida Governor and House Speaker have been involved in a legal and political debate over the expansion of gambling that went all the way to the FL Supreme Court.  The Palm Beach Post explains the decision:

The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Gov. Crist exceeded his authority last November when he signed a deal that, in exchange for payments to the state of at least $100 million a year, gave the Seminole Tribe exclusive right to offer high-stakes card games such as blackjack and baccarat at seven tribal casinos. For the deal to be valid, the court said, the Legislature would have to approve it. Such approval is a long shot, since House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, opposes expansion of gambling and filed the lawsuit that overturned the agreement – also called a compact – that the Supreme Court stuck down.

Even if the House were to approve the compact, which is clearly unlikely, another lawsuit filed by Pompano Park’s Isle Casino is pending, which would seek to invalidate the argument on federal grounds.  The Miami Herald explained:

In the suit, the casino claimed the gambling compact signed in November by the governor and the Seminole Tribe — owners of the Hard Rock chain — is invalid because it violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which allows tribes to play only games already authorized in Florida.

It appears that on all fronts the approval of table games in tribal casinos in Florida has been stopped and the Florida leadership that stood firm on the issue should be commended.

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