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Seminole tribe and state of Florida fight over gaming compact

Seminole tribe and state of Florida fight over gaming compact
The Seminoles say the Florida gaming compact was broken as the state allowed certain venues to offer tribe-exclusive games.

The Florida gaming compact continues to generate trouble with the Seminole tribe, which refuses to pay US$350 million.

US.- The Seminole tribe and Florida signed a gaming compact in 2010 but are now fighting over it. The tribe argues the state has reneged on the deal and is withholding a US$350 million payment.

The money, due to Florida on the gaming compact’s revenue-sharing agreement, remains unpaid. That’s because they argue the state broke the deal with pari-mutuels offering certain card games, exclusive to the Seminoles.

“As you know, the tribe and state have engaged in numerous rounds of negotiations to resolve a number of important issues, including a mechanism to shut down the illegal banked card games that were the subject of Judge Robert Hinkle’s decision in November 2016,” Chair of the Seminoles’ tribal council Marcellus Osceola Jr wrote in a letter to the governor.

“The tribe respects your decision to take more time to review the issues and resume discussions this summer. In the meantime, the tribe will suspend its revenue share payments until the illegal banked card game issue is resolved.”

Pari-mutuel attorney John Lockwood denied his clients were doing anything wrong.

“We’ve litigated this issue and have never got a ruling that these games were illegal under state law,” he told The Guardian. “The tribe’s position is they violate the compact, our position is that they’re legal under state law.”

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