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Seminole Tribe add public pressure to get renewal of gaming compact


The Seminole Tribe for Florida is turning up the public pressure on state lawmakers to renew a gaming compact that would allow them to continue offering various card games at its casinos in Florida.

The Tribe on Thursday announced they have started airing new television commercials in Tallahassee calling on Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to renew the compact. The ads say the Tribe has created 20,000 new jobs and given the state $1 billion in revenues. With a new deal, the ad declares 15,000 new jobs and billions more in revenues would come to Florida.  

“We’ve waited long enough,” an unidentified narrator says in the 30-second ad.

The ad come less than a week after the state and the Tribe failed to reach a deal before an Oct. 31 negotiations deadline hit.

Also last week, the state filed a lawsuit in Tampa federal court alleging that the tribe was violating state and federal law by operating the blackjack, chemin de fer and baccarat at five of its seven casinos in Florida at the end of the 90-day grace period given when the 2010 compact with the state expired in July.

The Tribe contends that it is entitled to continue playing the games because the state's Division of Parimutuel Wagering has authorized look alike black jack to be played using slot machine software at slots casinos in South Florida. They say that's a direct violation of the Tribe's exclusive right to operate the games in Florida, under the 2010 compact agreement.