A clause in the recent agreement signed between the state of Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe protects the gaming profits of the Seminole Indians from any possible competition from online casinos. If the state decides to regulate online gaming and if, as a result of it, tribal gambling profits drop, the Seminoles will not have to make any payments to the state.
The clause clearly mentions that the state will not receive the minimum agreed payment if it implements laws legalizing online gaming and if the Seminoles observe a 5 percent drop in their gaming profits during a fiscal year as a result of this regulation.
Simultaneously, the state can continue to receive the guaranteed payments only by permitting the Seminoles to operate online gaming sites if and when it chooses to regulate and legalize Internet gaming.
The compact does not take into consideration federal online gaming laws in spite of the Congress’s favorable response to the bills of Jim McDermott and Barney Frank advocating online gaming. According to federal law, the Seminoles are permitted any variety of gambling considered legal by the state. Apparently, this includes the establishment of gaming sites too.
The state of Florida has commissioned a report on the revenue that might be generated by legalizing online poker. The most formidable foes of online gaming in the US are the Seminole Indians and their supporters who feel that they might lose their gambling empire if online gaming sites are regulated and legalized at the federal level.