After adjourning for the year abruptly, the Florida legislature left behind Senate Bill 7088, which would have extended the state’s 2010 compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida another year. The pact, set to expire July 31, gave the tribe exclusive rights to offer blackjack, chemin de fer and baccarat at five of its seven casinos, in exchange for billion over five years.
The unexpected end of the session was due to an impasse over $4 billion in health-care funding, including an expansion of Medicaid the Senate supports and the House strongly opposes. Legislative leaders had been in negotiations with tribal lawyers and had “made some progress,” said state Senator Rob Bradley, one of the Senate negotiators. In a statement, the Seminoles said, “The tribe remains hopeful that negotiations can commence soon to reach an agreement that will result in favorable action during a special session of the Florida legislature.”
Without the compact, the Seminole casinos will keep slots and poker but stop offering the three card games.