Seminole Tribe signs Class III compact in Florida

The Seminole Tribe and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) signed a Class III gaming compact on Wednesday.

Under the 25-year deal, the tribe has the right to offer slot machines and banked card games, like baccarat and blackjack. Six no-limit poker games will be allowed every year [Compact Summary | Details | MP3: Press Conference].

In exchange, the tribe will share $50 million up front and at least $100 million in the first year and $125 million in the second year. A sliding scale of revenue sharing kicks in during the third year -- 10 percent of revenues up to $2 billion and up to 25 percent for revenues exceeding $4.5 billion.

The compact was signed a day before the Interior Department said it would issue "secretarial procedures" to allow the tribe to operate slot machines. Some industry watchers said the federal threat limited the amount of revenues the state sought from the tribe.

Crist said the compact doesn't require legislative approval. But lawmakers from both parties have insisted they play a role in the process. A lawsuit is possible.

The agreement requires approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Assistant secretary Carl Artman, who was in Denver for the National Congress of American Indians, flew to Florida for yesterday's signing. He is in Las Vegas today for the Global Gaming Expo.

Get the Story:
Tribe strikes deal to expand gaming (The St. Petersburg Times 11/15)
Florida lacked leverage for better deal with Indians, analysts say (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 11/15)
Court may decide if all bets are off (The Miami Herald 11/15)
State to get $325 million in first 3 years of deal (The Miami Herald 11/15)
Crist strikes gambling deal with Seminoles (The Naples Daily News 11/15)
Q&A: State currently limits cards, Vegas-style slots (The St. Petersburg Times 11/15)
Governor, Seminoles sign gaming deal (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 11/15)
State makes deal with tribe; Immokalee may benefit (The News-Press 11/15)
A closer look at the deal (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 11/15)
A history of tribal gaming (The St. Petersburg Times 11/15)