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Supreme Court rejects Bob Graham’s bid to argue in gambling case

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The Florida Supreme Court Friday denied a request from former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham to participate in oral argument in a case on expanding slot machines in the state. Graham has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the matter brought by Gretna Racing, the Gadsden County track seeking to add slot machines. Graham, a Democrat who was governor 1979-87 and U.S. senator 1987-2005, opposes the move. He says slots are illegal “lotteries” banned by the state constitution unless expressly permitted by law. The court also on Friday…

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Bock, bock: Gambling opponents call racetrack’s lawyers chickens

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Lawyers for Gretna Racing, the Gadsden County track seeking to add slot machines, this week asked the Florida Supreme Court to toss out former Gov. Bob Graham‘s friend-of-the-court brief in their case, saying he “has no right to raise a new issue from his position as a nonparty.” Graham’s brief opposes the operators of the racetrack; they argue they should be allowed to offer slot machines because voters approved them in a local referendum in 2012. The brief said slots are essentially “lotteries,” and lotteries, unless expressly permitted,…

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Bob Graham weighs in against expanding slot machines

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Former Florida Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham on Monday filed his friend-of-the-court brief with the state Supreme Court, arguing against the expansion of slot machines. Graham’s brief is for a Gadsden County case in which the operators of a racetrack in Gretna say they should be allowed to also offer slot machines because voters approved them in a local referendum in 2012. Ultimately, though, the question before the justices is whether slot machines are allowed at all outside South Florida in…

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Senate starts dissecting new Seminole blackjack deal

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The votes against a new Indian gambling agreement started piling up Wednesday, as senators verbally shellacked Gov. Rick Scott’s policy guru about the terms of the deal. The Regulated Industries Committee, oversees the state’s gambling industry, held a workshop on the Seminole Compact, with Scott policy director Jeff Woodburn acting as point man to formally present the details. No vote was taken. After sometimes withering questioning from South Florida GOP Sens. Anitere Flores and Democratic Sen. Gwen Margolis, committee Chairman Rob…

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2016 Legislative Food Fights: Seminole Compact faces skeptical Legislature

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The back-and-forth and backroom dealing is over, and lawmakers soon will publicly comb through the new blackjack deal between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The 63-page document revived the old joke around the Capitol: It contains something for everyone … to hate. And that means the tribe’s lobbyists will be working double-time to get some version of it through The Process.  Last year’s lobby team kept a relatively low profile: Emily Buckley, Gus Corbella, Hayden and Angela Dempsey, Fred Dickinson, Charles…

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No Casinos blasts Chamber poll on Seminole Compact

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The head of an anti-gambling expansion group says a new Florida Chamber of Commerce poll “paints an inaccurate picture of public opinion” regarding a new proposed blackjack agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. On Thursday, the Chamber released poll results showing three-quarters of voters say blackjack “has been good for the state” and that lawmakers should approve a new deal that lets the Tribe continue to offer blackjack in return for a $3 billion cut over seven years. Later…

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Chamber of Commerce poll shows support for Seminole blackjack deal

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce came out in support of the new Seminole Compact on Thursday, releasing poll results showing three-quarters of voters say the blackjack deal “has been good for the state.” The deal, negotiated by Gov. Rick Scott, allows the Seminole Tribe of Florida to continue offering blackjack at its casinos in return for a $3 billion cut to the state over seven years. In 2010, the tribe agreed to pay at least $1 billion into the state treasury for rights…

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