There is some concern amongst casino owners and gamblers in Florida as the license that allowed the Indian Casinos run by the Seminole tribe to offer games of blackjack, are running out.
Seminole Casinos are spread across the state of Florida and are considered to be the best casinos in the state, with the two Hard Rock Hotel and Casino resorts in Tampa and Hollywood being the biggest and most popular. Gambling is restricted in Florida, with many other casinos operating on cruise ships and sailing to International waters before gambling commences, but the Seminole tribe have been allowed to operate under the Indian Gaming rules laid down by the state.
However, like all laws concerning gambling in the United States, these rules are not as straightforward as they seem, and that’s causing some issues. The tribe struck a deal with the law makers in 2010 that allowed them to operate blackjack tables in 5 of their 7 casinos for a period of 5 years, and now that time period is coming to an end.
The tribe has tried to renew the license and it seems they have done their best to open talks and to extend their eligibility, but they have gotten nowhere. Now that the license is about to end, the tribe have announced that they will refuse to close down their blackjack tables.
This is not a petty stance based on a refusal to back down. Rather, they claim that the regulators violated the gambling agreement by allowing tracks in the south of the state to offer electronic games. This, they say, means they can continue to offer blackjack games. That would certainly be convenient for them. It would save them a lot of money, a lot of trouble and it would also keep customers in their casinos. However, whether the regulators agree with them or not remains to be seen.
The letter sent by the Seminole tribe also calls for a meeting between the tribe’s officials and the state, which they said should be arranged within the next thirty days. This news was announced yesterday, so we may have a wait on our hands before that meeting takes place and we get to hear of it, but the outcome of it could have a huge impact on the blackjack population — and the gambling population in general — of the Sunshine State.