Card Games Launch of Seminole Tribe Draws Near Despite Lawsuits

On June 10th, 2008, the Seminole Tribe from Florida is already preparing for the June 22nd debut of their casino card games like blackjack at their Hollywood Casino, which is just ten miles from one of the racing tracks that filed a lawsuit to stop the Seminole Tribe from expanding their gambling offering.

The Seminole Tribe will be the lone gambling operator in the state of Florida to offer card games and Class III slot machines. Steve Calabro, the vice president of gaming for Gulfstream parent company Magna Entertainment Corporation commented that the Seminole Tribe is gaining another unfair advantage over them.

A gambling compact that was signed between the Seminole and Governor Crist on November 17th, 2007 gives the tribe the exclusive right to offer card games at the 7 casino facilities in Florida. It also allows them to offer Class III slot machines and requires the tribe to pay the state $100 million annually. Both the Gulfstream Harness Track Isle Racing and Casino located at Pompano Park and the Greyhound Racing Track offers Class III slot machines but the taxes that they are paying to the state for the slot machines are higher compared with the Seminole Fee.

The Florida Supreme Court is preparing to decide on a lawsuit filed against Governor Charlie Crist by House Speaker Marco Rubio. The lawsuit, which was filed on November 19th, 2008, seeks to void the gambling compact and will require the approval of the legislature on any matter regarding the Seminole gambling expansion.

On June 4th, 2008, Pompano Park filed a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe saying that the tribe violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The lawyer who represents the Gulfstream Park and MEC, Marc Dunbar commented that he expects the state Supreme Court to decide on Speaker Rubio’s lawsuit before it takes a break on July 11th, 2008. But despite the legal problems, the Seminole tribe has already installed Class III slot machines at their 3 casino facilities in Florida including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.


published 23.06