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Florida Attorney General Sues Gov. Crist to Stop Gambling Compact

On December 20th, 2007, Attorney General Bill McCollum has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in order to stop the approval of the gaming compact between Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Indian Tribe that will give permission for gambling expansion at tribal casinos.

The U.S. Interior Department is currently studying the compact that will allow the Seminole Tribe's seven casino facilities to feature games like baccarat and blackjack. McCollum firmly believes that the Department of Interior should not give their approval until the state Supreme Court has the chance to decide on whether or not the Legislature has to give their approval on the gambling contract.

Both House Speaker Marco Rubio and Senate President Ken Pruitt are challenging the compact. McCollum said that he had filed the case to avoid having the Seminole Tribe install the casino games and then possibly having the state Supreme Court decided that Gov. Crist did not have the proper authority to decide on his own.

The Interior Department has until December 29th, 2007 to review the gambling compact. The Supreme Court scheduled arguments on the issue on January 30th, 2007. Under the gaming compact, the state will get an initial payment of $50 million and $100 million guaranteed in the initial year.

In the second year of the operation of the Seminole Tribe, the state will receive $125 million and $150 million in the third year. From there, the amount that the state will receive will depend on the revenues that will be generated by the Seminole Tribe.

Tribal officials can at least install Las Vegas style slot machines without paying any cash to the state because Florida approved the offering of the slot machines at Broward County frontons and horse and dog racing tracks.


Thursday, 03 January 2008
Cindy Alfonso