Casino Watch Focus has reported that the gambling compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe to exclusively allow table games at their tribal casinos came to an end. The next move was for the Florida legislature to reach out and ask when the Seminoles planned to stop offering the table games. The Tribe’s position was that they are allowed to continue to offer the games because the state allowed video versions of the table games at other locations. However, they said they wanted to negotiate and planned to keep paying the state as an act of good faith. Now, the Sun-Sentinel is reporting that negotiations are back on track, leaving those involved hopeful of a resolution:
A stalemate between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida about the tribe’s right to offer blackjack and other games at its casinos appears to have thawed, according to a top Senate negotiator.
In the recent detente, Scott’s general counsel Tim Cerio, House Regulatory Affairs Chairman Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami and Bradley have held meetings with tribal representatives over the past three weeks, Bradley said. Scott’s administration confirmed that negotiations are continuing.
“We are making progress in discussions with the tribe. I’m hopeful that we can reach a point where we have something to offer to the membership to consider and debate,” Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said Friday.
Time will tell if this deal will accomplish the original goal of preventing gambling expansion by keeping the more advanced, non-slot related gambling to just the existing Seminole casinos. A renewed compact has been a big push to help keep other full-blown, Vegas-style casinos out of the state. However, these new negotiations are looking at the idea of letting the Seminoles add more casinos to the Florida landscape. The Sun Sentinel explains:
Specifics of the current talks remain under wraps, but the Seminoles have expressed an interest in adding roulette and craps and expanding the number of casinos — now limited to five of their seven facilities — where they can offer banked cards. In exchange, the state would want more than the $250 million minimum annual payment now guaranteed by the tribe. Any agreement, however, would have to include some sort of “exclusivity” for the tribe and would have to be approved by the federal government.
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