The Attorney General of the state of Florida is on a one-man quest: to wipe out illegal gambling, and illicit slot machines in particular. Bill McCollumn says that he is onto the (alleged) unauthorized slot devices held by the Seminole Indian tribe, and will not rest until these troublesome one-armed bandits are made a thing of the past. McCollumn’s office announced recently that he had officially requested that the Seminoles cease and desist their illegal gambling activities, by way of a certified letter to the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission. The A.G. says that they have not abided by his request, and he is growing increasingly more frustrated.
The Seminoles attained the right to operate slot machines by way of a compact drawn up with state officials – which has since been declared invalid, thanks in no small part to McCollumn’s intervention. The Attorney General says that he had issues with the provisions contained within the compact when it was drawn up and signed up Governor Charlie Christ. The Supreme Court has since invalidated the controversial compact and terminated the agreement, but the Seminoles are refusing to give up the slot machines that they are running at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.
McCollumn appealed to the National Indian Gaming Commission, because he acknowledged the difficulties of making an Indian tribal nation fall under the rulings of state authorities. Because a large part of the state budget depends on the percentage of proceeds it has negotiated with tribes like the Seminole, the state holds a precarious position.