Seminole Tribe still going strong despite lack of new casino deal

A view of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Photo from Facebook

It's business as usual for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and its $2.2 billion gaming empire.

The tribe continues to offer banked table games at five of its seven casinos even though a key provision in its Class III gaming compact expired last July. A new deal would have extended the agreement but state lawmakers failed to ratify it amid lobbying from competing interests.

“There are a lot of backs that need to be scratched in the Legislature [to pass the new deal] and the Legislature could not get the backs scratched in the two months it had this year,” Bob Jarvis, a professor of gambling law, told The Miami Herald.

The tribe is now in federal court in hopes of resolving the impasse. The lawsuit accuses the state of failing to negotiate in "good faith" as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The trial, however, isn't due to take place until October after both sides requested a delay. Jarvis believes a new deal will be announced before the case is adjudicated.

“Both sides fully expect that long before the lawsuit gets resolved, they will be able to make a deal,” Jarvis told the paper. “The lawsuit is going at the speed of molasses.”

The tribe has continued to share revenues with the state even though the provision at issue expired. Since 2010, the tribe has contributed $1 billion.

The tribe owns the prominent Hard Rock brand that goes beyond Florida and is expanding into more international market.

Get the Story:
The state of the Seminole tribe’s compact with the Florida (The Miami Herald 5/24)
How the Seminole Tribe came to rock the Hard Rock empire (The Miami Herald 5/23)

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