Opposition to the Seminole Gambling Compact

On March 8th, 2008, an attorney representing the house in the state of Florida said that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist overstepped the boundaries of his authority when he signed the gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe regarding expanding their gaming offering in Broward County. Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe signed the gaming compact in November 2007 that gives permission for the entry of Las Vegas style slot machines and other casino games like blackjack and baccarat to be offered in the seven casino establishments of the Seminole Tribe in the state of Florida.

Lawyer Jon Mills, a former speaker of the house, said that the gaming compact sets a modification regarding the state legislation, a privilege that was handed to the legislature. Attorneys for the government and the Seminole Tribe commented that Gov. Crist is only acting within the boundaries of both the Florida and federal laws.

Jon Mills said that the Seminole gaming compact should also be carefully studied first by the house before being given the greenlight. Christopher Kise, the lawyer for Gov. Charlie Crist commented that Crist was subjected under immense pressure to finalize a gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe.

As part of the gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe, the state of Florida has already accepted a fifty million dollars initial payment from the Seminole Tribe and will receive another $100 million in the initial year of the agreement. The share of the state will grow up to one hundred fifty million dollars by the 3rd year of the gambling agreement and after the third year it will be mainly based on the revenue that the casinos will earn.

If the gaming compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe is not honored, the Department of Interior will give the go signal to the tribe to offer the Las Vegas style slot machines, according the lawyer of the Seminole Tribe Barry Richards. The state will then not be entitled to receive any part of the profit of the tribe.