Anti-Casino Group Wants Seminole Tribe Deal Dismissed
No Casinos is a group located in Florida that does not want to see the Seminole Tribe’s new compact approved by the US Interior Department.
In the United States, Native American tribes can sign agreements with individual states to pursue casino gaming services on reservation lands. Federally recognized tribes have the right to offer certain types of casino gaming based on their location. In the state of Florida, the Seminole Tribe is trying to expand on its offering after agreeing to a new compact with Governor Ron DeSantis. While the new deal will create a large expansion for the tribe, one group has now come forward in opposition. No Casinos is asking the United States Interior Department to dismiss the new compact and not agree to publish the agreement in the federal register.
Against the Will of the People
No Casinos President John Sowinski is quoted in a letter sent to the Department of the Interior, stating that the new compact is against the will of the people. Back in 2018, a referendum was approved on the November ballot, where Floridians now have the power to approve new forms of gaming in the state. The decision passed with a 71% vote in favor.
In his letter, Sowinski said that the Seminole Tribe and the residents of the state were in agreement with the passage of Amendment 3. This change ensures that voters have a say in decision on new casino gaming in Florida.
No Casinos pointed out that the rejection of the compact is not a rejection of the Seminole Tribe. it is simply sending the matter back to the capital and telling lawmakers that the will of the voters needs to be honored.
According to the group, the new compact has several flaws that are fatal. Sowinski brought up in the letter the stipulation that the tribe will not contest slot gaming in Broward or Miami-Dade counties, if a facility is not within a 15 mile straight line of its operating casinos.
Well, a facility that falls under the stipulations is the Doral Miami Club owned by Donald Trump and his family. In the past, Eric Trump has stated that the facility would be perfect for casino gaming and the new compact makes it look like the Trump family friend, Governor DeSantis, is playing in their favor.
DeSantis says that the allegations involving his decision and the Trump family are false. He says people are just trying to get a spicy headline by adding the Trump name in the mix.
Back in May, legislators in Florida decided to approve the compact agreed upon by the tribe and DeSantis. The new deal is good for thirty years and will give the tribe privileges when it comes to craps and roulette, along with sports betting.
The Class III gaming compacts must be approved by the United States Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs before it becomes law. The Interior Department has 45 days to choose the fate of the new compact.
It is unclear as to if the voices of No Casinos will play a role in the decision of the department. Secretary Deb Haaland is now in charge, a former representative for New Mexico. She is a Native American and a democrat.
It is expected that a ruling will be made by the end of this month. Will it be in favor of the Seminole Tribe or will the plan have to be reworked due to the issues presented by No Casinos? It will certainly be interesting to stay tuned and see what happens.