It has been a long time coming, but soon Floridians can play craps and roulette at Florida casinos.
Previously, lawmakers prohibited these types of Class III games in the Sunshine State. The second compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state, signed in 2010, didn’t permit table games without cards.
However, after a multi-year legal battle, the 2021 Florida gaming compact was reinstated by a federal court. The United States Supreme Court rejected an attempt to block the compact’s implementation.
Now the path is clear for craps and roulette to make their way inside the tribe’s six casinos.
In Florida, the Seminole Tribe has exclusivity on Las Vegas-style casinos.
The six Seminole-owned casinos are the only facilities that will add craps and roulette. Even if another property calls itself a casino, it is technically a pari-mutuel. Not a casino.
The tribe says it will begin the new games on December 7 at its South Florida locations before rolling out the additional gaming options at other Florida locations. Here’s a breakdown of how we got to the point where craps and roulette will be available to play in Florida.
Craps, Roulette in Flordia get past legal challenges
Florida casinos already feature various games, particularly in the Seminole-owned properties. However, there has always been a clamoring for more.
Governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe Council Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. signed a new gaming compact in April 2021. It legalized Florida sports betting and also allowed the Seminoles to offer a complete array of Class III games, including craps and roulette.
However, the new compact was put on hold for 18 months after a federal judge ruled it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
The DC Court of Appeals vacated that ruling in June 2023 before the U.S. Supreme Court finally gave the green light. Craps and roulette are now on the way and will be coming to the Seminole tribe’s Florida casinos with seemingly enough staff being hired.
The ownership group of a pair of pari-mutuels, West Flagler Associates, also filed a lawsuit with the Florida Supreme Court, arguing that the sports betting plan violates a 2018 state constitutional amendment requiring casino gambling voter approval. That case is still pending.
In addition to allowing the Seminoles to add craps and roulette at their casinos, the new compact also allows the Seminoles to add three casinos on tribal property in Broward County. In exchange, the tribe will pay the state at least $2.5 billion over the first five years and possibly billions more throughout the 30-year agreement.
Previous compact allowed Seminole casinos to spread a electronic Class III games
Seminole-owned casinos have slot machines. In the 2010 gaming compact, the state permitted the tribe to run certain Class III casino games. The previous agreement allowed the Seminole Tribe to offer slot machines and house-backed card games like blackjack. However, it did not include craps and roulette.
However, the compact did allow for electronic versions of those games. State law allowed the games as long as there wasn’t a human dealer. Consequently, the tribe installed ‘bubble craps’ machines and machine-operated roulette wheels at their larger properties.
It’s unclear what will happen to those electronic craps and roulette machines once in-person craps and roulette come into play.