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Gambling Ruling Keeps Blackjack Safe

November 10th, 2016 by flanews

The future of blackjack in Florida seems safe thanks to a federal judge. As Matt Galka tells us, the gambling ruling stacks the deck against the state.

Gamblers in Florida can keep taking cards at the blackjack table. A lawsuit between the Seminole Tribe and state of Florida was filed after a provision in the gambling deal between the two allowing exclusive banked card game rights expired in 2015.  The state wanted the games to end when re-negotiations stalled.

But U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that the state didn’t hold up its part of the bargain with the Seminole Tribe when it allowed designated player card games at card rooms and race tracks around the state.

“It said that bank card games ran til 2015 unless the state authorized any other person or entity to offer the games., which the state did,” said Tribe attorney Barry Richard.

So what comes next.  Gambling law expert Marc Dunbar says the ruling costs the state some money.

“That’s going to cost the state 134 million dollars a year,” he said. It’s because the state forfeits the money that comes from locations in Florida where the games aren’t exclusive.

“Oh this is long from over, I would guess there will be an appeal and ongoing discussions between the two sides,” said Dunbar.

The card games can now be offered until 2030 – the original duration of the deal signed in 6 years ago.

The ruling also gives the Seminole Tribe to offer blackjack and other banked card games at two more locations in Florida, but it’s unclear if they plan on doing that.

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