Blackjack Battling Smack Back - NBC 6 South Florida

Blackjack Battling Smack Back

Pols, Seminoles in high stakes battle over gambling laws

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    Blackjack Battling Smack Back
    Slot machines only? The future of gambling is in the hands of the Florida House and Senate.

    To blackjack or not to blackjack? That is the question. Just as you thought you were going to clean house at the Hard Rock’s blackjack table, turns out you may get banished back to the nickel slots if the Florida House has anything to do with it.

    But gambling addicts need not cash in their chips just yet. As the Florida Senate tells the Miami Herald, if they have anything to do with it, they’ll keep the 21s coming. Sen. Dennis Jones says a slots-only option is "a non-starter.'' The Senate is looking for ways to put money back into Florida’s in-the-dumps economy without raising property and sales taxes and feels letting the Seminoles deal their Vegas-style banked card games is the way to go.

    Jones also told the Miami Herald that taking away the game will just drive gamblers to casinos in other states, thus taking even more money away from Florida’s bank accounts. If the tribe keep the games, Florida will raise the stakes, allowing the Seminoles to put more money into the state. Sounds like a win-win.

    The Seminole Tribe, on the other hand, doesn’t really give a rat’s patootie what Florida’s government says. They were told last year by the Florida Supreme Court to drop the games but claim they don’t have to listen to the state’s non-indigenous inhabitants’ rules.

    While Governor Charlie Crist wants to leave the compact with the Seminole tribe in tact, the House and the Senate remain divided on the situation. And the future of Florida gambling again may be limited to slots-only. Whether or not those pennies you’ve been pinching are destined for slot machines is still something you can place your bet on.