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Court strikes down Seminole compact

Jul 8, 2008 7:00 PM

Staff & Wire Reports | Last week Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that Governor Charlie Crist exceeded his authority when he negotiated a compact that let the Seminole tribe offer Class III games including blackjack and baccarat at its Florida casinos.

The court ruled that the governor did not have the power to bind the state to a compact that allows for the type of gambling that is illegal "everywhere else in the state," and that he has no authority to amend or change state law.

The Seminole tribe said it would appeal the decision and that its Class III games would go on.

As one of the richest gaming tribes in the country, the Seminoles last year purchased the Hard Rock chain for $965 million. It began installing Las Vegas-style slots at its seven Florida casinos in January, and opened new table games at one of them two weeks ago.

Ontario casinos push for sports betting

Casinos in Canada’s eastern province of Ontario are lobbying for full-scale sports betting in order to increase their dwindling revenues and attract customers from the U.S.

 Many of the casinos already have scaled-down sports betting "lounges" in which players can bet a kind-of sports parlay. They want the regulations changed in order to offer Nevada-style bets.

 Political experts say the change has a good likelihood of happening. It would immediately benefit two Niagara Falls casinos that enjoy substantial drive-to and walk-in traffic from the U.S.

Since Canada does not tax gambling winnings, bettors also might be attracted to the potential of not having to pay a surtax on winning bets.

Kansas court gives
go-ahead to casinos

The Kansas Supreme Court last week ruled that state-owned and operated casinos are constitutional, opening the way for Las Vegas-style casinos in at least four locations throughout the state.

Under legislation passed in 2007, casino operating companies would actually own the land, buildings and gaming devices, but the state would have broad oversight.

When the Kansas casinos start opening by late 2010, they will be the first publicly owned Las Vegas-style gambling resorts in the U.S.

Regulation and oversight will be the responsibility of the Kansas Lottery, which has set up the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

Two Las Vegas-based casino operators have submitted proposals to build casinos in Kansas – Harrah’s and Las Vegas Sands. Other candidates include Penn National, Marvel Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment.