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A deal is a deal — unless it’s the Seminole Compact

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It seems that a deal is a deal is a deal, unless it’s a compact.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida negotiated a compact with the state of Florida to exclusively offer banked card games. That deal expires today. The tribe intends to keep dealing, and so it appears both sides will test their luck in yet another game based on both chance and skill – the courts, where the only guaranteed winners are the lawyers.

The Seminole Tribe argues the state broke the compact first when it allowed pari-mutuels to offer electronic versions of the card game. Hence, the Tribe claims the state violated the exclusivity provision.

And so this dispute may boil down to the pressing legal question: Setting aside the pathetic factor, does sitting down at a table with fellow humans at a card table equate to sitting down in front of an electronic machine all by your lonesome? I doubt James Bond, Ben Affleck or the Rain Man would agree. But how about Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg?

It would seem the logical solution would be for the Seminole casinos to install the video versions of the card games. Even-steven. Given they aren’t interested, we can draw one obvious conclusion: Gamblers lose more money while in the company of other gamblers than they do plopped on stools, chain smoking and draining their cash advances.

Unless, of course, it’s Bond or Affleck, all of whom would likely be banned from the Hard Rock.

My suggestion is this: Since the Seminoles and the state have had a very mutually beneficial relationship going on for five years now, they stop spending money fighting each other, work this out and pocket that money instead.

And then we can move on to more pressing gambling issues, such as this one: Do we redefine pari-mutuel racing as horses doing wind sprints in front of 13 people?

I wish I were kidding.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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