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Feds Approves Tribal Gaming Expansion

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January 2, 2008

TALLAHASSEE - The U.S. Department of the Interior announced today it has approved the gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and Florida governor Crist.  This approval will now be published in the Federal Register making it official.  The publication date is expected soon but has not been disclosed.

Attorney General Bill McCollum had filed a suit last month in the Florida Supreme Court for an injunction to block the compact until the legislature voted on it.  He will now ask a federal judge to allow time for the court to review his case.

The gaming compact legalizes Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack, and baccarat in the Seminole casinos and pay the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues. Without the compact, the Seminole Tribe could install slot machines without payments to the state.  Indian casinos can host any types of gambling authorized by the state, and Florida previously approved slot machines at tracks in Broward County.  For this reason, Gov. Crist negotiated the agreement under terms of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 988.

The Florida Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on this issue for January 30th.

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