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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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Court asks why it shouldn’t dismiss ‘pre-reveal’ appeal

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An appellate court was on the verge of rejecting an appeal of a lower court’s decision that entertainment devices known as “pre-reveal” games are in fact illegal slot machines. Dockets at the 1st District Court of Appeal show that Gator Coin II—the Jacksonville company that distributes the games—was ordered to show “why this appeal should not be dismissed” because its filings weren’t in order. An attorney for the company, Bryan E. DeMaggio, responded in a 21-page court filing—including exhibits—that lawyers “inadvertently neglected”…

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Dania casino shut out in gambling permit case

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State gambling regulators this week shot down a request by a South Florida gambling permitholder who wanted sell the permit and allow the next operator to build on a new location in Broward County. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Monday said both sales of permits and any relocation of gambling—both time-consuming processes—have to be OK’d by the department’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which regulates gambling in the state. The decision further cements the state’s control over where and how gambling is…

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With ‘pre-reveal’ games, it’s déjà vu all over again

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Illegal gambling is like cockroaches: You kill one and there are dozens more when it came from. Back in 2013, a multi-state illegal gambling investigation embarrassed the Legislature, resulted in dozens of arrests and eventually took down a lieutenant governor. Jennifer Carroll stepped down because, before her election, she provided public-relations representation to the company being investigated. Yup, she was never charged with a crime and yet just the past association cost her the job. Some weeks later, lawmakers outlawed the strip-mall…

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Panel approves bill to require gambling warnings on Florida Lottery tickets

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Lottery tickets, and places that sell them, could come with a warning: “Gambling can be addictive,” under a bill approved Tuesday afternoon by the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries. Senate Bill 1370 may go where some Florida lawmakers are uncomfortable to follow, declaring the state’s lottery games to be a form of gambling. As a result, the bill got a few no votes, including one from Democratic state Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville. But the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep.…

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House gambling bill set for Ways & Means this week

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The House of Representatives’ omnibus gambling bill will again be heard this week, records show. The bill (HB 7037) is on the agenda for the Ways & Means Committee, chaired by Bradenton Republican Jim Boyd, on Tuesday. Though it includes a renewed blackjack agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the legislation overall “freezes” the current ambit of gambling in the state, as Rep. Mike La Rosa has said. He chairs the Tourism and Gaming Control Subcommittee, which already OK’d…

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House gambling bill gets thumbs up on first look

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With its chair saying he wants to “freeze” gambling in the state, a House gambling panel on Thursday cleared that chamber’s overhaul bill, including a renewed blackjack agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Tourism and Gaming Control Subcommittee OK’d the measure (PCB TGC 17-01) on a 10-5 party-line vote. But the bill, which isn’t yet assigned to another committee, differs greatly from the Senate’s gambling legislation. Its proposal (SB 8) now is cleared for consideration…

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