Proposed daily fantasy sports legislation would violate a gaming compact in Florida, the Seminole Tribe contends in a new letter that came to light on Wednesday.

In a letter to state legislators first reported by Florida Politics, the tribe warned that legalizing DFS would give them grounds to cease making payments to the state. Those payments amount to more than $200 million per year in return for gambling exclusivity.

Seminoles vs. DFS

The letter was penned by Jim Shore, general counsel for the Seminole Tribe. It was hand delivered to Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Mike La Rosa, the two chairs of the relevant committees.

“I am writing to express the Tribe’s initial concerns about “fantasy contest” legislation under consideration by the Florida Legislature,” the letter begins.

Shore goes on to explain his client’s position:

The Tribe believes the games permitted by these bills would violate the Tribe’s exclusivity, as set forth in Part XII of the 2010 Gaming Compact between the State and the Tribe. By providing this notice, the Tribe hopes to avoid a situation where the State enacts legislation that inadvertently violates the Tribe’s exclusivity.

The letter states that the Tribe is willing to discuss the issue of fantasy sports contests. It warns, however, that “any reduction in the Tribe’s exclusivity must be balanced by some additional consideration from the State.”

Without such an agreement, the 2010 Gaming Compact would allow the Tribe to cease all revenue sharing payments to the State based on the expanded gaming contemplated by these bills.

Why now for the Seminoles?

The Seminoles, to date, have done most of their lobbying against DFS behind the scenes. The public acrimony is a new development. It’s at least possible that the Seminoles’ change in tactics means the legislation has a chance of passing,

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