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State files illegal card game complaints in Pensacola, Sarasota

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Ed. Note — Story was updated Tuesday with comment from Pensacola track spokeswoman. State gambling regulators have filed administrative complaints against two racetracks in recent weeks, alleging that they’ve been offering illegal card games. One complaint was lodged Aug. 17 against Pensacola Greyhound Track & Poker Room, and another was filed last Thursday against the Sarasota Kennel Club, both of which offer varieties of poker.

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Over salmon, Rick Scott thanks Seminole Tribe representatives

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A month after ending a long-running blackjack dispute, Gov. Rick Scott met with representatives of the Seminole Tribe of Florida on Monday in what was called a “social visit.” A luncheon, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Governor’s Mansion, was posted on Scott’s daily schedule.

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Despite lack of deal, Seminole Tribe still paying state millions

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The Seminole Tribe of Florida has given the state of Florida another multi-million dollar payday. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation reported that the tribe paid $19.5 million in gambling revenue share on Monday. The department regulates gambling. That money includes revenue share from banked card games, specifically blackjack. The tribe also offers slots. It has Vegas-style and other gambling at seven casinos around the state, including Tampa’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, but has blackjack only in Tampa and Hollywood. Monday’s deposit brings the total amount paid by the…

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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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Jose Felix Diaz: ‘We were too far apart’ from Senate on gambling

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State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, the House’s point man on gambling, said an impossibility of compromise over slot machines killed the 2017 gambling bill. “We were too far apart and the Senate wanted to bring it in for a landing during budget conference, and we were not going to be able to do that,” he told reporters after Tuesday’s House floor session. “The timing was off.” The sticking point was an offer to expand slot machines to pari-mutuels in counties…

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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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Black clouds loom over this year’s gambling bills

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Ed. Note: A version of this story ran previously in Saturday’s “Takeaways from Tallahassee” email. It’s long been a Capitol cliché, but there are few pronouncements on a piece of legislation as inauspicious as calling something “a heavy lift.” Saying a bill is “a heavy, heavy lift” sounds even more portending of defeat. Yet that’s how House Speaker Richard Corcoran referred to the omnibus gambling bills now on their way to conference. They include a new agreement for continued exclusive rights…

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