Editorial: Reach agreement with Seminole Tribe

"A good poker player can sense an opponent's bluff, and Gov. Charlie Crist would be wise not to ask the U.S. Interior Department next Thursday to show its cards.

A year has passed since Las Vegas-style slot machines opened up in Broward County, and a lawsuit requires the Interior Department to formally respond next week to a motion compelling it to grant the same privilege to the Seminole Indians. So the department has set a new deadline, Nov. 15, for the state to reach agreement with the tribe or risk losing control. This time, Interior's hand feels like a straight.

Crist gets it. "I understand they're sort of forcing the issue, and the issue is they're going to make us do it one way or another," he told a reporter. "I want to make sure we're protecting (taxpayers') interests first, Florida's interests first. ... We'll do the right thing."

Crist would be irresponsible not to attempt to reach agreement with the Seminole tribe. After the late Gov. Lawton Chiles stubbornly refused an agreement letting the Seminoles run bingo-style slot machines, the tribe ended up with slot operations anyway - in six counties, with no state oversight and no revenue sharing."

Get the Story:
Editorial: This hand too vital to misplay (The St. Petersburg Times 11/8)