Florida House Speaker asks federal commission to stop Seminoles’ illegal games

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing saga between the Florida legislature and the Seminole Tribe regarding an acceptable gambling compact.  The back and forth resulted in a deal to move forward with a compact that was to result in millions for the Florida government in exchange for new table games allowed at the tribal casinos.  Now, after months of failed agreements, the Florida Speaker of the House, Larry Cretul, has asked the federal government to intervene.  On online Florida source explains:

In an Oct. 21 letter to Chairman George Skibine, Rep. Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, said in spite of “good faith” negotiations by the State of Florida with the Seminoles, “It is my opinion we have reached an impasse that can only be remedied by your intervention.”

Citing provisions of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which empowers the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) to fine operators and temporarily close gambling activities in violation of IGRA, Cretul told Skibine, “It is our hope that the NIGC exercises this authority to bring the Tribe into compliance with federal law.”

House Speaker Cretul outlined in his letter that the Seminole tribe can’t be allowed to violate the law and disadvantage the people of Florida.  The online article continues:

Cretul said the Seminoles’ continuing operation of illegal games at its casinos “disadvantages” the state in its negotiations with the tribe.

“Until the banked card games (and slot machines) are shut down and the Tribe gives some indication that it is willing to abide by the law, and ultimately its agreements, it would appear that the State would be ill-advised to enter into any compact with the Tribe,” wrote Cretul.

While “we are willing to negotiate in good faith,” Cretul concluded, “We will not be forced into accepting a compact that grants the Tribe more games than they may rightfully demand under IGRA.”

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