Florida Lawmakers Decision to Ban Card Games Upsets Pari-Mutuel Industry

Casino Watch Focus has reported reported on the ongoing negotiations between the State of Florida and the Seminole Nation in regard to a gambling compact. The recent compact has been in existence for five years and grants exclusive rights to table games, like Black Jack, at the Seminole’s casinos in exchange for tax money to the state. A few years back legislators approved certain card games for pari-mutuels that seemed to be a clever way around the compact, but that none-the-less were upsetting to the Seminoles. As the two parties are nearing the final negotiations of a new compact, it would appear the Seminoles have made the point clear to legislators that those card games need to be removed. As the The Suncoast News explains, legislators are now proposing those games be banned:

Cardroom operators are outraged over a proposal by state gambling regulators to do away with a lucrative type of card games, which regulators have decided are illegal after approving them for three years. The uproar focuses on what are known as “designated-player card games,” which include a hybrid of three-card poker and resemble casino-style card games but are played among the gamblers instead of against the house, which pari-mutuel operators contend makes them legal.

The Seminoles contend that the designated-player card games violate the tribe’s rights to exclusivity. It gave the tribe exclusive rights to operate blackjack and other banked card games at most of its casinos. The proposed prohibition on the card games comes as the state and the Seminole Tribe renegotiate a deal that was inked five years ago but expired this summer. 

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