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Judge files order after ruling ‘pre-reveal’ games are illegal slots

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As expected, a Tallahassee judge has entered a written order following his decision last month that he had gotten it “wrong the first time” and said games known as “pre-reveal” are in fact illegal slot machines. Circuit Judge John Cooper this week filed a “final declaratory judgment,” which allows Gator Coin II—the Jacksonville company that distributes the games—to now appeal to the 1st District Court of Appeal.

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Lawyers to face off in hearing over ‘pre-reveal’ games

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Lawyers for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and companies behind what are known as “pre-reveal” games—a name they apparently disdain—will appear Monday afternoon in a Tallahassee courtroom. Circuit Judge John Cooper agreed to hear argument on why he should reconsider his previous ruling that the stand-alone consoles aren’t illegal slot machines. The devices in question use a specific software known as “Version 67.” The machines—offered mostly at bars and taverns—look and play like a slot machine, Cooper had reasoned, but don’t fit the legal definition of gambling because the…

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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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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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Rick Scott: Legislature’s inaction on gambling “doesn’t make any sense”

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Gov. Rick Scott says he doesn’t understand lawmakers’ inability to pass comprehensive gambling legislation this year—especially when he gave them a head start. Scott spoke with FloridaPolitics.com reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster in Naples Thursday, after a stop of his “Fighting For Florida’s Future” tour. Part of the legislative package was a deal negotiated by Scott with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, guaranteeing continued exclusive rights to blackjack in return for a $3 billion cut of gambling revenue over seven years. “I don’t understand…

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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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