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State appeals federal ruling on Seminole Tribe blackjack

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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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Bill Galvano files 112-page gambling bill for 2017

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This year’s first big gambling bill has something for everyone: Lottery ticket sales at gas pumps, fantasy sports, more slot machines, and a provision to finally OK the long-delayed gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. As he promised, state Sen. Bill Galvano filed this year’s bill (SB 8) on Thursday afternoon, coming in at 112 pages – with a 16-page summary separately provided. One notable highlight: It would expand blackjack from just the state’s Seminole casinos to South Florida’s pari-mutuels,…

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Lawmakers get ready for Seminole Compact, gambling debate

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The chair of the House’s gambling policy panel Thursday made clear what the elephant in the committee room would be this legislative session. “Everything we do is connected to this gaming compact,” said state Rep. Mike La Rosa, referring to the pending renewal of an agreement between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  Indeed, the Legislature’s real work on gambling won’t start till the Senate files its gambling legislation for 2017, expected later today (Thursday). La Rosa, a St.…

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Senate to set marathon 4-hour hearing on gambling bill

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The Senate’s gambling legislation for 2017 will be filed Thursday, according to state Sen. Bill Galvano. Bet on a lot of talk about it: The Regulated Industries Committee has set aside four hours to discuss it at its next meeting. A tentative schedule posted Wednesday on the Senate’s website shows its Jan. 25 meeting beginning at 2 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. The committee oversees gambling policy. Committee chair Travis Hutson, said his members will begin going over the bill being handled by Galvano, one of…

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Seminole Compact, other gambling issues expected to be top priority in House Commerce committee

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The House Commerce Committee is poised to tackle everything from assignment of benefits to economic incentives, but it’s the most narrowly defined subcommittee that could be the busiest in the months leading up to, and during, the 2017 Legislative Session. The full House Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, met Tuesday morning to get an overview of topics expected to come up in the upcoming 60-day legislative session. “So it begins,” said Diaz. “We’re going to be busy.…

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Seminole Tribe pays state nearly $20M in gambling money

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The Seminole Tribe of Florida has paid the state nearly $20 million this month in gambling revenue share, according to public records released Tuesday. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation‘s “licensing and revenue intake system” shows two deposits of $9.75 million were made last Thursday. The agency regulates gambling in the state. That intake system is limited to single deposits of no more than $10 million, DBPR spokesman Stephen Lawson explained, so the $19.5 million payment had to be split in two. The money will go into the state’s General Revenue Fund, Lawson previously said. The…

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Where’s the Seminoles’ gambling money? State’s not clear

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A state agency that reports to Gov. Rick Scott isn’t clear on the location of millions of dollars the Seminole Tribe says it’s still ponying up from its gambling operations. A spokesman for the tribe last week said they have a “continuing desire to finalize a new gaming (agreement) with the state of Florida” that includes continued exclusive rights to offer blackjack. “As further evidence of its positive approach, the Tribe is continuing to make monthly payments to the state that will total $306 million…

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