There has been an ongoing struggle between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state over the game of blackjack. Some lawmakers had been pursuing efforts that would restrict tribal casinos owned by the Seminoles from offering blackjack as a table game. It now seems that an agreement has been reached which would permit blackjack to be played until 2030.
The battle may be just beginning, however. The Florida Legislature does not need to approve the measure, but some are anticipating opposition from dog and horseracing tracks who view the measure as a threat to their own sources of revenue.
These tracks have been permitted to host similar card games for some time now and use the revenue generated from the game to offset operating costs.
Blackjack is Big Money for Florida
The terms of the agreement reached between the Seminoles and the State of Florida stands to put immediate money in the state’s coffers. A $220 million dollar payment is immediately guaranteed to the state with additional expected revenues of $120 million in the next year.
Barry Richard is the attorney representing the Seminole tribe which owns the Hard Rock Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa. Richard praises the deal as a win for both sides. Many states are realizing the futility of resistance to gambling games such as blackjack. Some states have even gone so far as to legalize online gambling. In Nevada and New Jersey, for example, individuals living in the state can create accounts with online casinos that are registered and operated by live casinos in those jurisdictions.
The settlement reached between the Seminoles and the State of Florida ends a dispute that began in 2015. In that year, the provision allowing blackjack and slots to be operated by the Seminoles expired. The Seminoles filed a lawsuit.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has been instrumental in hammering out the details that eventually led to a resolution of the crisis. Scott initiated negotiations with the tribe while the lawsuit was still pending. Scott’s vision was to also permit Craps and Roulette in the casinos, but this was struck down by the state’s lawmakers.
A wrinkle in the legal dispute emerged when a U.S. District Judge ruled that dog and horse tracks could install games similar to those the Seminole tribe wished to operate. The judge included a provision that casinos could retain blackjack for another 14 years but this decision was appealed. The appeal has been dropped in the wake of this new agreement.
Did you know that you don’t have to travel to Florida in order to play blackjack? You can play the game from the comfort of your own home when you create an account with an online casino recommended by Counting Edge. Signing up is fast and easy, and you’ll get a nice welcome bonus for creating your account.
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