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Florida Supreme Court rejects Crist's deal with Seminoles

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January 28, 2010


TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Supreme Court ruled 6-0 last week that Gov. Charlie Crist violated state law by signing a casino gambling compact with the Seminoles in 2008.
"We hold that the Governor does not have the constitutional authority to bind the State to a gaming compact that clearly departs from the State's public policy by legalizing types of gaming that are illegal everywhere else in the state," wrote Justice Raoul Cantero for the court.

The court also stated its decision is not final until it has ruled on any motion for rehearing

Spokesman for the tribe, Gary Bittner, said "That process is likely to take a number of months. Depending on the final decision by the court, the tribe may seek review by the United States Supreme Court From the tribe's perspective, they're studying the decision."

Bitner said the casino has no plans to close the tables. They are open and operating.

"We opened 71 tables and they were installed with the approval of Gov. Crist and the federal government," Bitner said. "We had 40,000 people playing at those tables the opening week. They're playing at the tables now. The slots are open in six of the seven casinos in the state operated by the tribe."

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