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Seminole Tribe Requests Mediation Over Card Game Fight

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Florida officials are asking the Seminole Tribe when it plans to end card games at its casinos.  The tribe wants to have a mediator intervene, and the fight could be headed to court. 

A five-year deal between the state of Florida and the Seminole tribe allowing black jack and other card games at Seminole casinos expires Friday.

The compact requires the tribe to close its card games within 90 days, but the Seminoles say they can keep the cards, because the state violated the agreement by allowing blackjack and other games in others areas.

Now the issue could be heading to mediation. In documents filed Monday, the tribe wants a mediator to decide whether it can keep the games, and allow the tribe to stop making payments to the state and put the dollars into an escrow account instead. The tribe wants to expand its card games into other locations.

The Seminoles are asking for a mediation conference within the next 30 days.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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