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Florida Loses Blackjack Case in Federal Court

January 2nd, 2017 by Site Admin

An ongoing legal saga between the state of Florida and the Seminole Indian Tribe ended last week when a federal judge declined to re-evaluate his position on the case, where he noted the Sunshine State violated the terms of a compact with the Seminoles to allow them exclusive rights to offer blackjack in their casinos.

That ruling gave the Seminoles a 15 year extension on exclusive blackjack rights in Florida, and although the state sought a reversal of ruling from the judge, he declined, noting that: “The original opinion correctly analyzes the issues.”

In 2010 the Seminoles and Florida entered a 5 year agreement that gave the tribe’s casinos exclusive rights to offer shoe style casino games. That deal expired in 2015, but the Seminoles claimed Florida violated the contract by allowing dog and horse racing tracks to offer electronic versions of the games. Despite attempts on both sides to strike a deal, none was forthcoming, and the tribe continued to offer games in their casinos, causing Florida to seek an injunction.

That case was eventually ruled on in November in the tribe’s favor, and the December decision by Judge Hinkle confirmed the decision. The only thing the state can do now is to appeal to a higher court and hope for the best, although for the time being, blackjack will continue to be offered in Seminole casinos.

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