Seminoles and Gov. Scott duelling in court

Both parties simultaneously filed motions for summary judgment in the state of Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation decided to confront the Seminole Tribe’s allegations.

US.- The Seminole Tribe of Florida is asking a federal judge to declare that tribal casinos have permission to keep operating banked card games, including blackjack, for 15 more years. The Seminoles also asked U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle to force the state back to the negotiating table in a last effort to try to resolve their differences.

In the meantime, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, filed a motion asking Hinkle to rule against the tribe on an allegation that the state failed to negotiate in good faith.

The rival motions for summary judgment are the latest developments in a dispute over the Seminoles’ “exclusive” right to operate banked card games, including blackjack, at five of the tribe’s seven casinos. That exclusivity was part of a broader 20-year deal, called a “compact,” signed in 2010. As part of the deal, the tribe promised to pay the state a minimum of US$1 billion over five years, an amount which it has exceeded.

However, the five-year agreement regarding the cards expired on July 31. The terms of the compact gave the Seminoles a 90-day “grace period” after the agreement expired to continue operating the banked card games. After mediation failed, the tribe filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging that Florida officials had failed to negotiate in “good faith” on a new deal.