TAMPA (FOX 13) - The government of Florida and the Seminole tribe are currently locked in a legal battle over blackjack and other table games. Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs hang in the balance because of the issue.
Five years ago, Florida reached a deal with the tribe, which gave it the right to operate blackjack tables at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa and in south Florida. That deal expired this summer, and a grace period expires on Thursday.
Facing the risk of losing the games, the tribe sued the state in federal court, claiming the state is not negotiating a new deal in good faith as required, and that the state has already breached the compact by allowing racetracks in south Florida to operate electronic card games.
The Seminole tribe says the loss of table games would affect more than 3,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the agreement from 2010 generated a billion dollars for the state of Florida.
Proposals for a new compact would generate $3 billion or more for Florida. Both sides said they're making progress in their discussions, and the negotiations will continue.
Governor Rick Scott, the state legislature and the federal government would have to sign off on a new deal.