On January 30th, 2008, a lawyer representing the legislature in Florida commented that Gov. Charlie Crist abuse his authority when he signed the gambling agreement with the Seminole Indian Tribe regarding expanding their gaming offering. Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe signed the gaming compact in November 2007 that allows for Las Vegas style slot machines and other casino games like blackjack and baccarat to be offered in the seven casino facilities of the Seminole Tribe in Florida.
Attorney Jon Mills, a former speaker commented that the gaming compact sets a change regarding the state laws, a privilege that was granted to the legislature. Lawyers for the government and the Seminole Tribe commented that Gov. Crist is only acting within the boundaries of both the state and federal rules. Mills commented that the gambling compact should also be reviewed first by the legislature before being approved.
The lawyer for the governor, Christopher Kise, commented that Crist was under immense pressure to negotiate a compact with the tribe and if he has to seek the approval of the legislature, he will not be negotiating with the tribe in good faith. The Federal rule managing Indian gambling across the country states that any game that exists throughout the state must also be allowed by Indian casino facilities. Mills said that it is not right for Indian casinos to offer card games like baccarat and blackjack and only giving the privilege exclusively to Indian casinos.
As part of the gambling compact, the state of Florida has already received the initial $50 million payment from the Seminole Tribe and is guaranteed to receive $100 million in total payment for the initial year.
It is set to grow by $150 million by the third year of the gambling compact and it will be determined by the total profits of the casino later on. A lot of people expect Florida to earn billions of dollars in the near future.
If the state Supreme Court of Florida invalidates the gambling compact, the U.S. Department of Interior will give the Seminoles the permission to offer the Las Vegas style machines, according to Barry Richards, a lawyer for the tribe. The Seminole tribe will not be allowed to offer card games but they will not be required to pay to the state.