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Blackjack Gambling Deal Set to Expire

October 12th, 2015 by flanews

The clock is ticking on the state’s gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe. As Matt Galka tells us, state lawmakers say they won’t discuss a new deal during their special session at the end of the month, meaning time could run out on blackjack being offered at casinos around Florida.

The ongoing back and forth between state officials and the Seminole Tribe over gambling at the Indian casinos has a big hurdle coming up.  The Seminole Compact which allows the Tribe to  exclusively offer blackjack is officially expiring at the end of the month. Senator Rob Bradley chairs his chamber’s regulated industry committee and says that conversations about a new deal are going well.

“The state of Florida and the tribe are making significant progress, and I feel like we’re headed in the right direction but we’re not there yet,” said Sen. Bradley.

The legislature doesn’t exactly have an Ace up their sleeve. They won’t be discussing the compact during this month’s special session according to Bradley.

 

State lawmakers will convene for a special session on October 19th. The Seminole Compact’s grace period for blackjack runs out on October 29th.

“The expectation is that they’ve signed an agreement that if there’s not a path forward to extend than they cannot offer blackjack games anymore…Keep in mind that the tribe has rights to gaming, types of gaming that do not include blackjack. Nobody is closing any doors,” he said.

The Tribe said earlier this year that they believe the state has already violated the terms of the deal by allowing video blackjack to other casinos around the state.

In response to Bradley’s comments, a spokesman for the Tribe simply said “conversations are continuing.”

The original deal was worth $1 billion dollars to Florida. But because the Tribe believes the state already violated the compact, they believe they can still deal blackjack and not continue to pay.

 

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