Seminole Casinos in Florida Threatened by New Bill

03/20/2012
By Tommie ClarkGoogle

casino reviews are reporting that a new bill will soon hit the Florida House of Representatives called the Prohibition of Electronic Gambling Devices bill.  The bill has already received the support of Florida governor Rick Scott as well as his cabinet members and is expected to be supported by the house; however, when it hits the Senate afterwards there remains a great degree of uncertainty if it will be able to pass. 

 

The Seminole Indian tribe has been lobbying against the bill.  They claim it will break the status quo between the tribe and the state government.  Ironically, the target of the bill is not the Seminole casinos – it is the internet cafes around Florida that allow casino games under the guise of “sweepstakes.”  And it is precisely these internet cafes that the Seminole want to shut down.  However, lawyer Barry Richard explains that the Seminole don’t want a new law that will change the status quo; they want to legally define what is done in these internet cafes as gambling so that it be considered illegal by the authorities automatically. 

 

The internet cafes use a 40 year old sweepstakes law in order to run slot-like casino games.  These cafes earn $1 billion annually of which the state has no share.  Lawyer Christine Graves, representing the internet cafes, explains that since the outcome of the games is predetermined, it is legally definable as a sweepstakes; therefore, even if the bill passes these internet cafes, in her opinion, will remain open.  Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Miami, one of the sponsors of the bill, explained that the bill should not impact the status quo with the tribal casinos.  Some casino guides claim that the tribes are just afraid of loosing their monopoly. 

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