Blackjack At The Center Of Florida Gambling Issues

We’ve all heard of what is happening in Florida with respect to the casinos.  Last year in November, Governor Charlie Crist made a deal with the Seminole Indians allowing the latter to offer table games such as blackjack in their casinos.  These games are allowed in most other states but in Florida, they are not.

Since the deal went through, many other government agencies have been trying to get it unraveled.  The result is that all the other casinos in the state are not allowed to offer these table games.  Luckily for the Seminoles, the government does not have any authority over their land.  As such, they can continue to carry on with their activities at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

The story does not stop there, though.  Since the Seminoles are still offering blackjack and the other casinos in the state are not allowed to do so, you can imagine that the rest of the pack are complaining.  The Associate Press narrates:

By entering a compact with the Seminoles that included blackjack, Crist was trying to guarantee Florida at least $100 million annually for 25 years. But giving the tribe exclusive rights to blackjack, rather than simply allowing more slots, meant more money and much more controversy.

Now, no one is happy. The commercial gaming industry says it cannot compete against the Seminoles because it isn’t allowed to offer blackjack and must pay a 50 percent tax on its income from slots. Lawmakers say the compact needed their approval to be valid, and Attorney General Bill McCollum is anxious about card games spreading to other Seminole casinos in the state.

So what’s the deal now?  Nothing is clear except that blackjack enthusiasts in Florida need to go to the Seminole casino to enjoy themselves.

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