UPDATE: Florida States Asks Judge to Reconsider Seminole Compact Ruling, Judge Declines

Casino Watch Focus has reported that a Federal Judge recently ruled in favor of the Seminole Nation regarding the state’s gambling compact with them. The issue at hand involved exclusivity rights on table games the fact that Florida authorized them at other gambling facilities. That part of the compact has come to an end and a new one is being negotiated, but even prior to its end, they were allowing games that violated the compact. The judge said as a result, the Tribe could continue to offer table games through 2030. Of course, this means the Florida legislature is at a negotiating disadvantage with the Seminole’s as they attempt to forge a new compact. Knowing the position they are in does help to ensure they will attempt to get a new compact in place quickly, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to over turn the ruling and get back the negotiation leverage they lost. The Sun Sentinel explains: 

A federal judge has flatly refused a request from Gov. Rick Scott ‘s administration to reconsider a ruling that Florida violated a gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a two-page order late Tuesday, less than a week after attorneys for Scott and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation submitted a 33-page document requesting changes in Hinkle’s Nov. 9 ruling in favor of the tribe.

“This case was tried to the court. A written opinion set out the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law. The defendant has moved to alter or amend the judgment,” Hinkle wrote in the order. “For the most part, the motion simply reargues the merits. The original opinion correctly analyzes the issues. This order denies the motion to alter or amend.”

In the request for reconsideration, attorneys for the state raised a series of issues about Hinkle’s November ruling, including disputing his conclusion that “designated player games” meet the definition of banked card games and, as a result, violate the 2010 agreement. But attorneys for the tribe countered Friday by urging Hinkle to reject the state’s request for reconsideration. “The court found that the designated player games are ‘banked card games’ based upon reasonable interpretations of (federal and state laws), common understanding of the term in the gaming industry, testimony of both expert and lay witnesses, and legislative history,” the tribe’s attorneys wrote in a six-page document. “The state ignores virtually all of that evidence, disregards the court’s reasoning, and presents its argument as though there had been no comprehensive briefing on the relevant issues and no trial.”

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