Seminole Tribe accuses state of bad faith in gaming compact talks

A view of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Photo from Facebook

The Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida are in federal court this week, arguing over failed Class III gaming compact negotiations.

The tribe made a major breakthrough in 2010 when it signed a compact after years of being rebuffed by the state. The agreement guaranteed regional exclusivity for the tribe and a share of revenues -- nearly $1.7 billion to date according to the Associated Press -- for the state.

But efforts to update the agreement have not borne fruit. As a trial opened on Monday, an attorney for the tribe detailed two failed attempts in the last couple of years, The News Service of Florida reported.

"The governor and Legislature said to the tribe, 'We will not negotiate a renewal … unless you renegotiate the entire compact and give us a whole lot more money,' " attorney Barry Richard told the court, The News Service reported.

Richard further said the state's tactics violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which requires "good faith" negotiations. In cases involving tribes in California, unjustified demands for revenue sharing, reluctance by a state governor and failures by state legislative bodies have been viewed as violations of the law.

The trial comes as the Hard Rock International celebrates a major milestone. With the exception of one location in Las Vegas, Nevada, all of the Hard Rock casinos and hotels in the U.S. and in key international markets are united under the tribe's ownership.

"This is a historic day for the brand and we could not be prouder to announce this acquisition that we believe ignites the path for further expansion around the globe," Jim Allen, the chairman of Hard Rock International, said in a press release. "With the newly acquired rights the Hard Rock brand has now been united for the first time in more than 35 years under one controlling ownership, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, allowing for globally consistent customer service and standards at all of our locations."

Read More on the Story:
Florida gaming regulators face Seminoles; Judge holds cards (AP 10/3)
Card games at heart of trial pitting state, Seminoles (The News Service of Florida 10/3)
‘Good faith’ at issue in Seminole Tribe blackjack trial (Florida Politics 10/3)
Dana Young backed out of blackjack talks, Seminole Gaming CEO says (Florida Politics 10/3)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Donald Trump hired firm to lobby for tribal casino deal in Florida (09/29)
Seminole Tribe seeks decision in Class III gaming compact case (06/07)
Seminole Tribe starts work on scaled back casino expansion plan (6/1)
Seminole Tribe still going strong despite lack of new casino deal (05/24)
Seminole Tribe drops motion after gaming revenues published (05/13)
Seminole Tribe seeks court order to protect gaming information (5/12)
Florida racks up legal bills in gaming fight with Seminole Tribe (04/29)
Judge agrees to delay trial in Seminole Tribe's compact lawsuit (03/29)
Editorial: Courts hold the cards on Seminole Tribe's casino deal (03/24)
Seminole Tribe turns attention to courts after casino deal falters (3/23)
Seminole Tribe seeks delay in Class III gaming compact litigation (03/10)
Editorial: A 'shameful' delay on Seminole Tribe gaming compact (3/3)
Seminole Tribe faces setback for new Class III gaming compact (3/2)
Seminole Tribe wins ruling in employment case due to immunity (02/25)
Seminole Tribe's gaming compact takes a step forward in Florida (02/10)
Seminole Tribe plans $1.8B in gaming projects with new compact (02/01)
Seminole Tribe runs ad touting $3B in revenues in casino compact (01/27)
Seminole Tribe finally gets response to gaming compact lawsuit (1/26)