On April 22nd, 2008, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino facility turned on fifty-six class III Las Vegas style slot machines, the only one permitted on the state of Florida. Casino officials postponed marketing the new slot machines until the first 725 slot machines were prepared for their initial launch on May 1st, 2008. Even then, 3,000 bingo-based slot machines will still run until the end of May.
The slot machines represent the first part of the gaming compact between the Seminole Indian Tribe and Governor Charlie Crist that was approved in November 2007. The gaming compact permits the Seminole Tribe to offer slot machines in Broward and Miami Dade. The compact also allows for the tribe to offer the state’s only legal card games like baccarat and blackjack.
The tribal officials are currently looking for 3,650 dealers for their seven casino facilities in Florida. Seminole Gaming Chief Executive Officer Jim Allen said that the card games should begin by late summer or fall.
The state of Florida will receive at least $100 million annually for the next twenty-five years and Florida can even earn $1 billion for the next 5 years. But two state legislators, House Speaker Marco Rubio from West Miami and Senate President Ken Pruitt from Port St. Lucie petitioned the state Supreme Court to stop the gaming compact because it is improper for Governor Crist to have approved the deal because they have not been consulted about the deal.
But the Seminole Tribe is going ahead with their expansion plans, with future plans of managing more than fifteen thousand Class III slot machines. With the previous Class II slot machines, players compete against other players. With the class III slot machines, gamblers play against the casino establishment.