After Gretna Racing filed a motion to alter a ruling by a federal judge in the issue involving the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state, the Seminole Tribe has announced their objections. The tribe’s lawyer Barry Richard, filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion by Gretna Racing, as the race track tried to intervene in the case last week according to court records.
Attorneys for Gretna Racing, David Romanik and Marc Dunbar, asked for Judge Hinkle to change a portion of his ruling. The track claims part of the ruling could make it a crime for the track’s cardroom to be able to continue to offer specific card games. Both attorneys are part owners of the racing facility, Gretna Racing.
The race track currently has a case that is pending before the state Supreme Court that involves whether or not slot machines will be expanded in Florida. Gadsden County voters, as well as six additional counties, voted yes to pass local referendums that will approve a slot expansion. The Gretna Race Track is located in Gadsden County.
However, the main concern of the track right now, according to a report on floridapolitics.com is the ability to offer certain card games, games that were included in the decision by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. The judge determined that gaming regulators who work under Governor Rick Scott were given the ability to allow card games to be offered by certain horse and dog race tracks in the state that are similar to games that were ruled to be exclusive to the casinos owned by the Seminoles.
Hinkle ruled that the Seminoles could keep the blackjack games until 2030, as the state broke a 5-year provision by allowing the similar games to be played at the tracks. The state would have liked to see the judge order the tribe to stop offering the games based on a blackjack provision included in an agreement that was made between the tribe and the state, an agreement that had expired in 2016.
An attorney for the tribe, Barry Richard, stated that in future proceedings within the courts of Florida or before state regulators, Gretna remains entirely free to argue that the games they offer do not offend the law of the state. The fact that the decision of the court might be cited as a non-binding precedent contrary to the track’s position in future cases is not enough to justify providing Gretna with the extraordinary relief they are seeking.
Richard also stated that the request was untimely and that both Dunbar and Romanik, attorneys and owners of the Gretna track, were sufficiently aware of the progress in the case so they knew or should have been aware of the possibility of an adverse ruling in regards to the issues in which they sought to intervene.