In Florida, a federal judge has rejected a motion from state lawyers to reconsider his previous ruling that gave the Seminole Tribe Of Florida the exclusive right to offer blackjack and other “banked” card games in the southern state.
According to a report from the Florida Politics new media concern, judge Robert Hinkle from the United States District Court For The Northern District Of Florida rejected the appeal from the Florida Department Of Business And Professional Regulation and declared in a two-page order that his “original opinion correctly analyzes the issues”.
The Seminole Tribe Of Florida inked a 20-year gaming compact in 2010 that gave it the exclusive rights to operate slots outside of Miami-Dade County and Broward County while additionally granting five years of exclusivity regarding “banked” card games, which see casino players compete against the house instead of other competitors such as in poker.
When the five-year “banked” portion of the deal expired in 2015, the tribe attempted to negotiate a new agreement but was twice rebuffed by legislators in Tallahassee despite having come to arrangements with Republican governor Rick Scott. It then filed a lawsuit alleging that the state had failed to negotiate a new accord in “good faith” and as a result it should be permitted to carry on as usual for the entire length of its compact.
In his November 9 ruling, Hinkle agreed with the Seminole Tribe Of Florida, which operates seven casinos in Florida including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Hollywood and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tampa, that the state’s authorization of “banked” games had triggered an exception to the five-year portion of the compact and ordered that the tribe be permitted to continue providing such offerings until 2030.
The 33-page reconsideration motion from the state reportedly argued that Hinkle was wrong in his interpretation of “house” and “banked” games as laid out by local law but Barry Richard, a lawyer working on behalf of the Seminole Tribe Of Florida, told The News Service Of Florida late last week that the appeal amounted to a request for a rehearing.
“They’ve essentially disregarded the evidence supporting the judge’s findings and legal conclusions and taken an issue with it and asked him to change his mind,” said Richard.