The Seminole Tribe which is federally recognized by the state of Florida are about to head into mediation in order to avoid a potential deadlock regarding their tribal casino monopoly over blackjack and other table games.
This past month officials from the tribe asked for mediation after negotiations with state legislators stalled earlier this year. It seems that the Florida officials want to renew the talks on the matter and both of the parties have chosen a mediator.
Chelsea Eagle who is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation and is tasked with supervising gambling operations within the borders of Florida, said that they have yet to answer formally to the arbitration request. It seems that they have been discussing the mediation location and dates though
It would seem that at first the Seminoles together with members of Gov. Rick Scott's office had initially picked Thomas Brewer to be their mediator. Due to some scheduling conflicts he was forced to decline the offer. Eventually, they agreed upon New York-based lawyer Loretta Gastwirth, who is a partner in the Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein and Breitstone law firm.
The Seminole tribe had an agreement since 2010 with the state to become the sole provider of blackjack and other card games. You can play any of these games at 5 of their 7 casinos located across Florida. In return the Seminoles had to pay no less than $1 billion over a five-year period. However this agreement expired on July 31 and this is what has caused the need for this mediation.