via Gary @Fineout
A deal authorizing blackjack and other types of card games at casinos such as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood and Tampa expires Friday.
The state’s top gambling regulator wrote a letter to the tribe chairman Monday asking for a meeting where tribal leaders are expected to give state officials a timeline for closing down blackjack tables.
Ken Lawson, the secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, pointed out that the existing compact requires the tribe to close its blackjack tables within 90 days if legislators do not renew the provision. A proposal to extend the games for one year was considered but did not pass the Florida Legislature. Story here.
Update: Sen. Bill Galvano, who was one of the lead negotiators with the Tribe on the original gaming compact, told reporters Monday afternoon that he believes negotiations will resume with the Tribe and they were in the same situation in 2010, when the first compact was invalidated by the Florida Supreme Court. The court ruled their table games in violation of state law and the Tribe sat down and negotiated a deal with the Legislature.
"I don't think it necessarily means we are headed for litigation,'' said Galvano, R-Bradenton. "This is similar to the position we were in last time before we were able to enter into a deal. I think the state has significant leverage at this point and there's nothing to preclude us from having those negotiations."