Judge agrees to delay trial in Seminole Tribe's compact lawsuit

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

The Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida will go to court later this year in hopes of resolving a Class III gaming compact dispute.

The tribe filed the complaint in October 2015, accusing the state of failing to negotiate in "good faith" as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The state filed an answer in January but both parties asked for a delay earlier this month, citing scheduling and other issues.

Judge Robert Hinkle agreed to the request on Monday. The trial is due to take place this October, a year after the tribe filed the complaint.

While the case was proceeding, the tribe and Gov. Rick Scott (R) negotiated a new agreement but the Florida Legislature failed to ratify it. The situation is not unique -- a judge in California held Gov. Jerry Brown (D) responsible under IGRA when lawmakers there refused to approve a controversial compact.

The tribe continues to operate its casinos under a compact that was signed in 2010. A key provision regarding blackjack, however, expired and the lawsuit could resolve that issue.

The tribe contends the state has violated the exclusivity provisions of the agreement and has refused to stop offering blackjack. The state said the games should have pulled last October, when the lawsuit was filed.

The tribe has shared $1 billion with the state under the 2010 compact and has continued to share revenues while the lawsuit proceeds.

Get the Story:
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