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Seminoles oppose casino plan and blast legislators for 'insulting comments'

James BillieIn the first public statement from the Seminole Tribe of Florida about the pending resorts casino debate, Tribal Chairman James Billie warned that the tribe will "vigorously fight against any attack on our Compact with the state" and will fight any attempt to bring resort casinos to Florida.

"The Tribe also objects to insulting comments from state leaders trivializing the value of the 20-year exclusive Compact," the statement said. The state entered into a compact with the Seminole in 2010 that allows them the exclusive right to operate Las Vegas-style slot machines outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties as well as the right to operate banked card games, such as black jack and baccaret, on the tribes seven reservations in Florida.

Billie referred to the comments from Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff and Rep. Erik Fresen, which called the compact "toast" and "not worth the paper it is printed on" after a decision by the state to give new gambling permits to Magic City Casino and a Gretna barrel racing company.

"I don't believe those legislators have ever read our Compact,'' Billie said. "Those comments are incorrect and inappropriate. They stir up the issue, rather than explain the facts." Download Tribe press release