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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum to Feds: Stop illegal Indian gaming

19

September

Remember that pesky little problem with Indian gaming and the Florida Supreme Court tossing the compact Gov. Charlie Crist struck in secret with the Seminole Indian tribe?

Attorney General Bill McCollum does. Today he released this letter he sent to the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission insisting that he "take action immediately to see that the Tribe ceases its illegal activity until a valid compact can be consummated with the State of Florida." His point: Those card games and Vegas-style slot machines at Seminole casinos are illegal after the court tossed the compact. The Seminole Hard Rock casino in Tampa has Vegas-style slots.

Meanwhile, Crist is taking a different tact. He's still hoping to get the Legislature to sign off on a state compact with the Seminoles. The big question: What will the feds do?

UPDATE: Rep. Ray Sansom, the Destin Republican who's likely to be the next House speaker, issued a statement Friday endorsing McCollum's action. "I fully support Attorney General McCollum's efforts to halt the Seminole Tribe's illegal gambling," said the statement from Sansom, a long-standing opponent of more gambling in Florida. "If the tribe wants to work with the state to resolve the compact issue, the tribe must first comply with the laws of Florida and of the United States."

-Joni James, Times state editor

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 9:49am]

    

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