After months of trying to agree on a gambling compact, it appears that Florida's Seminole tribe and its state government are at an impasse, reports the Miami Herald. At issue is the desire of some lawmakers to expand gambling throughout the state and the refusal of the Seminoles to give Florida $150 million a year in shared gaming revenue if the expansion goes through. But the even larger issue looming behind the dispute is that of sovereignty. The Seminoles claim that Federal law makes them a sovereign nation, not subject to the state of Florida's fines and rules. The Florida House of Representatives has asked the Federal government to step in and halt gaming on the Seminole reservations. These large issue of sovereignty are discussed in detail in Jessica Cattelino's High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty. She argues that the Seminoles have used their vast gaming profits to shore up both their cultural traditions and their sovereignty, and that while states and the Federal government have both been happy to let tribes claim sovereignty when they were poor, the addition of huge gambling profits raises the stakes for everyone. When asked about the current impasse, Cattelino said she is "particularly intrigued by the
potential for the tribe to negotiate gaming terms with the federal
government and thereby cut out the state."