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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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Busted: Cocaine found in 5 greyhounds at Derby Lane

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

State officials revoked a racing greyhound trainer’s license after five dogs tested positive for cocaine after a race in January. According to records from the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Malcolm McAllister’s racing license was permanently revoked April 24. Urine samples for the dogs were taken by state employees following races at the St. Petersburg Kennel Club — known as Derby Lane — in January. McAllister, who did not return calls to a number listed in public records, didn’t…

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Court ruling could result in explosion of gambling permits

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An appellate court’s ruling promises to further muddy the legal landscape of gambling in Florida. A 1st District Court of Appeal opinion released Tuesday reversed the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and ordered the reinstatement of a South Florida casino’s application for a new “summer jai alai” permit. The department regulates gambling. Pari-mutuels, particularly in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, covet such permits because at a minimum they allow a facility to open a cardroom and offer simulcast betting. The decision promises to result…

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2017 Legislative Session preview: Showdown over gambling—again

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With competing legislation now set up in both chambers, the question remains whether lawmakers finally will pass a gambling overhaul or whether the effort will founder as it has in years past. Hanging in the balance is a new blackjack exclusivity deal for the Seminole Tribe of Florida that promises a cut to the state worth $3 billion over seven years. Negotiated by Gov. Rick Scott in late 2015, it failed to gain approval from lawmakers last session as it…

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Why I have second thoughts about tearing down the wall between the whiskey and the Wheaties

in Peter by

For the fourth year in a row, lawmakers will try to tear down the wall that separates tequila from tangelos. Senate President pro tem Anitere Flores has a bill (SB 106) to repeal the Prohibition-era state law requiring businesses, such as grocery chains and big-box retailers, to have separate stores to sell liquor. State Rep. Bryan Avila, a Hialeah Republican, filed a companion bill in the House. However, for the first time in four years, I’m not so sure about this legislation. In Sessions past, I was…

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State appeals federal ruling on Seminole Tribe blackjack

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blackjack

The state of Florida has filed an appeal to a federal judge’s ruling allowing the Seminole Tribe to keep offering blackjack at its casinos. The 7-page “notice of appeal” to the 11th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals was filed Thursday by Jason Maine, general counsel to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates gambling. The filing did not preview any arguments the state intends to make to get the decision reversed. Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in November…

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Fantasy sports bill filed again in Legislature

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill to exempt fantasy sports play from state gambling regulation has again been filed in the Florida Legislature. State Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Sanford Republican, filed a measure (HB 149) on Wednesday. The bill would clarify that fantasy contests “reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants” and are not games of chance – and thus potentially illegal gambling. The legislation specifically includes games based on “athletes in the case of sports events.” It doesn’t yet have a…

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