Seminole Tribe reports lack of progress in casino pact dispute

Blackjack tables at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. Photo from Facebook

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is demanding action on its Class III gaming compact.

Key provisions of the deal affecting blackjack and revenue sharing expire this week. But a spokesperson said informal talks with Gov. Rick Scott (R) haven't produced anything concrete.

“There have been conversations, but no progress, and the tribe plans to move ahead with the process,” spokesperson Gary Bitner told The Naples Daily News.

The tribe invoked formal dispute resolution procedures in a June 24 letter. Since a 30-day deadline passed to reach agreement, Chairman James Billie plans to pursue mediation.

If that fails, Billie said the tribe will go to federal court to defend its right to continue offering blackjack and other Class III games. But he also said the tribe will continue to share revenues with the state in a "gesture of good faith."

Since 2010, the tribe has shared more than $1 billion with the state in exchange for certain forms of exclusivity. The tribe claims the state has allowed non-Indian facilities to offer the same types of games.

Get the Story:
Seminoles will demand mediation in blackjack battle (The Naples Daily News 7/25)

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Editorial: Deal with the Seminole Tribe (The Miami Herald 7/26)

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