Seminole Tribe reiterates request for mediation in casino dispute

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Photo from Facebook

The Seminole Tribe reiterated its request to enter into mediation with the state of Florida to resolve a Class III gaming compact dispute.

Key provisions of the deal expire this Friday and the state believes the tribe must stop offering blackjack. A letter from the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering sought a timeline for shutting down the games, according to news reports.

The letter also sought another meeting with the tribe. Such a request appears to run counter to dispute resolution procedures in the compact that call for formal mediation instead.

“Due to the short period allowed for mediation under the compact, the tribe would like the conference to take place within 30 days,” the tribe said in a filing with the American Arbitration Association, The Naples Daily News reported. The tribe is asking for a “mediator with expertise in Indian gaming," the paper said.

The tribe started the dispute resolution process in a June 24 letter. A 30-day deadline passed on Saturday without an agreement so the next step outlined in the compact is mediation rather than another meeting with the state.

If mediation fails, Billie has 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:
Dueling letters in state-Seminole blackjack battle (The Naples Daily News 7/28)
State tells Seminole Tribe: Prepare to end blackjack games at casinos (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 7/28)
State asks Seminole Tribe when it will shut down blackjack tables (AP 7/27)
Clock running out on Hard Rock casino table games but Galvano says it's déjà vu (The Tamba Bay Times 7/27)

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Seminole Tribe reports lack of progress in casino pact dispute (7/27)
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Opinion: Renew Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe (7/14)
Seminole Tribe waits on response in Class III casino compact talks (07/06)
Editorial: Extend Class III casino compact with Seminole Tribe (06/30)
Seminole Tribe accuses state of violating Class III casino deal (6/25)

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