Two years of waiting for the Seminole Tribe may come down to a vital six weeks to launch two of the most traditional casino options in Florida.
Search results Monday on the Seminole Tribe casinos’ careers portal listed required roulette and craps experience in six of its listings. Currently, these table games are not a gambling option for Florida casino patrons.
Craps and roulette haven’t been offered as a game in Florida’s casinos as they were left out of previous Seminole-Florida gambling compacts. The version that was adopted into law in May 2021 has a provision that allows the Seminoles to install them at their houses of gambling.
The history of roulette and craps at Florida casinos
The terms of the most-recent compact were put on hold because of a lawsuit. On June 30, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District Court’s decision that the deal violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. West Flagler Associates, which operated two casinos in the state at the time, and its various gaming entities had sued to block the compact.
According to the rules of the circuit court, the judgment won’t become a mandate until 45 days after it was issued. The soonest the mandate would be in effect would be late August, and casinos could, in theory, offer craps and roulette at that time.
The Seminoles could also ask for a waiver of these rules to start earlier than 45 days, according to Bob Jarvis, a gaming law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. That seems unlikely because of the sheer number of positions the tribe wants to fill.
Multiple Seminole casinos want to fill positions
The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood and Seminole Coconut Creek casinos listed floor supervisors for craps and roulette in job postings. Two full-time and part-time dealer listings included the two games in their subject lines. Other available jobs at two casinos have craps and roulette listed as “preferred qualifications.”
The floor supervisor at the Tampa location states that candidates must have five years of experience in either game.
When contacted about whether these job listings meant that the two games would start soon, Gary Bitner, a spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe, told PlayFL “any outreach efforts should not be interpreted as evidence of future plans.”
Bitner also noted “team members are always encouraged to think ahead.”
Efforts to contact the Seminole Tribe’s human resources team for plan details were unsuccessful.
The devil in the details on hiring a new team
The listings seem to be evidence of plans as one offers a $2,500 relocation stipend. Since Florida casinos have never offered the two table games, finding candidates who meet the five years of experience qualification in the state could be less likely, and out-of-state options might be the reality.
As with all of the casinos’ job listings, they give preference in all of its employment practices to Native Americans. First preference is given to members of the Seminole Tribe who meet the job requirements, and second preference is given to members of other federally recognized Native American tribes who meet the job requirements.
Legal actions still could stall craps and roulette
There may yet be some legal maneuvering to stall the start of the play. West Flagler Associates could request a rehearing or appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court. If either request is filed, the plaintiff could file for a stay for the terms of the 2021 compact until a final legal resolution.
Jarvis also believes anti-gambling interests will move in Florida’s state courts to challenge the compact’s validity in regard to the state Constitution. In doing so, he thinks it will file an injunction seeking a pause on roulette and craps, as well as sports betting, which was another part of the agreement.