Feds sign off on Seminole gaming agreement in Florida

The Seminole Indian tribe’s latest agreement to operate blackjack in Florida has been approved by the federal government, ending years of tense ambiguity.

The tribe has been operating card games since 2008 after signing a compact with Gov. Charlie Crist, but the Florida Supreme Court threw it out because it wasn’t approved by the Legislature.

The games continued anyway, because the U.S. Department of the Interior had already signed off on the deal and state officials had no standing to shut them down.

The tribe, lawmakers and governor finally reached accord during the recent session with an agreement guaranteeing the state $1 billion.

Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs approval became official after publication Tuesday in the Federal Register.

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