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Pre-reveal game makers bemoan state’s ‘heavy-handed tactics’

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The companies behind what are known as “pre-reveal” games say they’re “losing money every day” even after a Tallahassee judge ruled the stand-alone consoles aren’t illegal slot machines. Gator Coin II and Blue Sky Games are asking Circuit Judge John Cooper to lift an automatic stay of his March decision. Cooper, however, already has agreed to reconsider the ruling, setting a hearing next Monday in the Leon County Courthouse. The devices—offered mostly at bars and taverns—look and play like a slot machine, Cooper had reasoned,…

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Jackpot? Judge could reconsider ‘pre-reveal’ slot machine ruling

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A Tallahassee judge has agreed to hear arguments on why he should reconsider his ruling that stand-alone consoles known as “pre-reveal” games are not illegal slot machines. Judge John Cooper set a hearing for June 19 in the Leon County Courthouse, court dockets show, after the Seminole Tribe of Florida asked to intervene. The move also puts a hold on an appeal filed in the 1st District Court of Appeal by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which regulates gambling. The Tribe will…

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Lawyer: Seminole Tribe ‘will react accordingly’ to gambling bill’s death

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The Seminole Tribe of Florida “will react accordingly” to the demise of a gambling bill this Legislative Session, the Tribe’s top outside lawyer said Tuesday. Chief negotiators for the House and Senate said earlier Tuesday they wouldn’t resolve their differences over the legislation before the scheduled end of the 2017 Legislative Session on Friday. When asked whether the Tribe plans to stop paying the state, attorney Barry Richard of the Greenberg Traurig law firm said, “I can’t answer that question,” adding such a decision requires…

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Seminole Tribe: Judge’s slots ruling could cost state ‘multi-billions of dollars’

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If it looks like a slot machine, and plays like a slot machine, it’s a slot machine, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is telling state leaders.  An order by a Tallahassee judge, first reported by FloridaPolitics.com, declared that certain slot machine-style entertainment devices aren’t slot machines under state law. The Tribe disagreed. It now says those games violate a deal between the Tribe and the state, known as the Seminole Compact. That could have “massive consequences costing the Tribe and the State to lose multi-billions…

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Scratched: Judge sides with Richard Corcoran, tosses out Lottery’s $700M contract

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A Tallahassee judge has invalidated the Florida Lottery’s $700 million contract for new equipment, essentially agreeing with House Speaker Richard Corcoran that the agency went on an illegal spending spree when it inked the deal last year. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers issued her 15-page order late Tuesday afternoon. She presided over a nonjury trial in the case Monday. The multiple-year contract involved new equipment for draw and scratch-off tickets. The Lottery is booming — it sold more than…

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Lottery case now in judge’s hands; agency says it did no wrong

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The Florida Lottery went on an illegal spending spree when it inked a multiple-year, $700 million contract for new equipment and “blew up” the state’s budget process, a lawyer for House Speaker Richard Corcoran argued Monday.  The Lottery’s lawyer countered that it takes money to make money, and the agency simply did what lawmakers told it to do: Follow “its singular purpose” of maximizing its revenue for education, Barry Richard said. Lottery proceeds go to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.  Both sides gave closing arguments after…

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House witness calls Lottery contract “complete departure” from protocol

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A multiple-year, $700 million contract for new Florida Lottery equipment is “a complete departure from the way we’ve operated for many years,” a House budget analyst testified Monday. Bruce Topp, budget chief for the Government Operation and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee, was on the stand for the non-jury trial between the Lottery and House Speaker Richard Corcoran over the contract, made final last year. Corcoran says the Lottery can’t sign “a contract that spends beyond existing budget limitations.” The Lottery’s outside counsel counters that the Legislature cannot “micromanage individual contracts.”…

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