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The Seminole Gambling Compact Reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court

On January 30th, 2008, the supreme court of Florida allowed arguments in a case that will review the extent of a governor's power on deciding a gaming compact and it could have a chilling impact on gaming in Florida. At the center of the issue is the twenty-five year gaming compact that was signed between the Seminole Tribe and Gov. Crist.

The gambling compact will allow the tribe to offer games like slot machines and card games like blackjack and baccarat on their casinos in Florida. In a power showdown between the state's two leading officials, House Speaker Marco Rubio has challenged Gov. Crist's move to sign the gambling compact without the permission of the house. But while the state Supreme Court of Florida is currently reviewing arguments in Tallahassee, players can already enjoy slot machines at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino facility in Hollywood.

Debuted on Monday, the slot machines will also be offered in Broward this coming March and at the Seminole facility in Tampa, according to Seminole Spokesperson Gary Bitner. Speaker Rubio's lawyer, Jon Mills commented that by allowing such machines, Gov. Crist made the worst mistake in public policy making in Florida.

Gov. Crist's attorney, Christopher Kise commented that the governor's talks with the tribe were made by following federal law, an issue that does not require legislative involvement. What may affect the case of the speaker is that the legislature has ignored a chance to approve a law that would need the involvement of the House.

Seminole lawyer Barry Richards commented that even if the case is decided on the favor of the Governor, it will take a while to begin offering blackjack and baccarat on the casinos that are run by the Seminole tribe.


02/18/2008 22:22 PM
Davis Coulter