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Seminole Gaming Compact Allows Baccarat and Blackjack

On November 14th, 2007, one day before the deadline of the U.S. Department of Interior's deadline for the state of Florida to hammer out a gaming compact with the Seminole tribe, Governor Charlie Crist approved a twenty-five year, gaming compact with the Seminole tribe, giving them the exclusive right to offer gaming outside the counties of Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

For poker enthusiasts, the gaming compact did not answer their hopes to extend gaming hours and bigger limit games. The only poker development under the gambling compact would allow for a bigger buy-in on poker event, providing that a least 70 percent of net poker profit will be given to a charity.

If the state of Florida failed to cut a deal, the Seminole Tribe would have been permitted to run gambling operation on tribal territories without giving a single cent to the state. Under the new gaming compact, the state will receive an initial payment of $50 million and up to twenty five percent of annual gaming profit from slot machines and casino card and table games. Florida also allowed the tribe to feature blackjack and play baccarat, which is not allowed in other places in Florida.

Aside from that, if the state allows blackjack and baccarat to be offered in racing tracks, the tribe can stop paying taxes. The House of Representatives and Speaker Marco Rubio filed a petition on November 19th, 2007 before the State Supreme Court.

The case asks the court to decide whether Gov. Crist overstepped his power by allowing the contract without the approval of the House. Attorney Jon Mills, the lawyer of House Speaker Marco Rubio said that the Governor has overstepped his bounds.

If the State Supreme Court agrees to decide on the case, they will be under some pressure. The gaming compact will be enforced after the approval of the Department of Interior, which will be on December 28th, 2007. Five other states have also filed lawsuits against Gov. Crist who have negotiated the compact without the approval of the legislature.


Sunday, December 23, 2007
John Palmer

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