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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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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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State starts enforcing card game decision

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Gambling regulators have begun warning the state’s card rooms to change their games. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has started sending form letters to advise card room operators about a final agency order on designated-player games. Last week, the department adopted an administrative law judge’s findings that those games, similar to poker, were “unauthorized” under state law. That’s because they played too much like “banked card games,” such as blackjack, only allowed to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Such games…

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State rules against certain poker-type card games

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A type of wildly popular poker-type card game is now banned as it is currently played in Jacksonville, according to a final decision issued this week by the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which regulates gambling. The department’s order, issued Wednesday and filed Friday with the Division of Administrative Hearings, specifically finds against designated-player games offered at the bestbet Jacksonville poker room and levies a $4,500 fine against it. DBPR adopted an Aug. 1 recommended order from an administrative law judge. The effect of the…

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State files exceptions to card game ruling

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Florida gambling regulators have objected to parts of an administrative law judge’s ruling on poker-style card games being run at a Jacksonville card room. The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, filed exceptions last week to Judge Suzanne Van Wyk‘s Aug. 1. order. Specifically, it disagrees with her decision to dismiss part of the case in which the state alleged the third-party company workers did not have occupational licenses. But Van Wyk’s 54-page order is only a recommendation that…

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Racino executive speaks out on card-room controversy

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The head of a Jacksonville racetrack and card room says the state was unfairly targeting pari-mutuels for running illegal card games, especially when state regulators oversaw the games being set up. Howard Korman, president of Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, which does business as BestBet, spoke at a Senate Regulated Industries Committee meeting on Wednesday. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Tuesday filed administrative complaints against Korman’s operation and six other tracks in Florida. The state is fighting what’s known as “designated-player games”…

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