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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist and Seminoles say: Cretul, you're wrong



Heads continue to butt between House leaders and the Seminole Tribe over the state's gambling compact. Seminole Tribe spokesman Gary Bitner issued the following statement in response to House Speaker Larry Cretul's call for the feds to shut down the tribe's slot machines and card games.

The tribe continues to contend, as it has for the 15 months that, because the 2007 compact was posted in the federal register, it is still a legal document. The Florida's Supreme Court invalidated it and sent the governor back to the drawing board but, they say, it's still in force.

Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Crist told the Herald today: "I don't know that we've reached an impasse. I don't agree with that assessment yet."

Here's Bitner's statement:

"Contrary to the letter from Speaker Cretul, the Florida Supreme Courtdid not invalidate the 2007 Compact, which received federal approval in January 2008.  In fact, the Court only addressed a narrow aspect of the Governor's authority and specifically declined to address the status of the Compact under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. 

"Since the federal approval of the Tribe's 2007 Compact has not been reversed by any judicial or administrative decision, the Compact remains in effect as a matter of federal law.  The Tribe's gaming facilities continue to operate in full compliance with the 2007 Compact."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:23pm]


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