Seminoles not ruling out early start to new poker limits

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Nick Sortal of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen is not ruling out the possibility that the six Seminole poker rooms would start dealing higher-limit poker games before July 1 when Florida’s parimutuel rooms will be permitted to do so.

While the parimutuel provisions of recently signed Senate Bill 622 specifically take effect on July 1, the Seminole Compact provisions will take effect once the compact is approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and published in the Federal Register. That process took roughly six weeks after the November 2007 compact was reached. That would put final ratification of the new compact around June 8, if one uses the same timeline as a guide. But approval could come sooner or later.

What’s unclear, however, is whether the Seminole rooms would be legally permitted to deal higher-limit poker games before July 1 regardless of when the compact goes into effect. Poker is not a "covered game" under terms of the compact, and thus is subject to state laws covering it, which in this case would appear to be July 1.