The financial information, which the Seminole Tribe of Florida had futilely tried to block from getting into publication, revealed the tribe made $2.4 billion in 2015—majority of which came from the gambling business.
Last week, the tribe tried to get a federal judge to block a deposition made by Seminole Gaming CEO James Allen, but that bid became “moot” after Politico published the disclosure information, according to the Associated Press.
Politico came out with a story that quoted Allen saying that $2.2 billion of the Seminole’s $2.4 billion revenue last year came from the tribe’s gambling business, particularly its casinos in Tampa and Hollywood.
The state Department of Business and Professional Regulation turned over a copy of the deposition after the news site filed a public records request.
Lawyers for the tribe initially wanted the court to stop the news site from publishing information from the deposition “until the tribe could decide whether the material contained trade secrets,” but they withdrew the request because there was no longer a reason to continue the fight when the court “can no longer afford the tribe meaningful relief.”
If you recall, the state of Florida and the tribe are still locked in a battle over whether the tribe can continue to operate blackjack table at their casinos. The tribe filed the lawsuit after key portions of its gambling deal with the state expired last year, and the deposition was part of the evidence that will be presented during the federal trial scheduled in October.
Gov. Rick Scott reached a new $3 billion deal with the tribe late last year, which would have rendered a trial unnecessary. But the deal was rejected by the Florida Legislature during the session that wrapped up in March after legislators failed to satisfy all of the state’s various gambling stakeholder, which means there will be no new compact approved until 2017, and so here we are.
The Seminoles can still offer blackjack at their casinos until the matter is resolved, while also bolstering their other gambling options including a recently opened VIP slots room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.