Federal judge declines to reconsider blackjack decision

Card games will be operated by the Seminole tribe for another 15 years.
Card games will be operated by the Seminole tribe for another 15 years.

The judge rejected Florida’s petition to reconsider its decision on banked card games.

US.- The Florida Department Of Business And Professional Regulation appealed back in December the decision of giving the Seminole Tribe of Florida the exclusive rights to offer blackjack and card games.

Judge from the United States District Court For The Northern District Of Florida, Robert Hinkle, has reportedly rejected a second petition from Gretna Racing, a parimutuel cardamom operator in Gadsden County. The Seminole representatives consider the agreement as part of a 20-year contract with the State, so the operation of card games, such as blackjack baccarat, should be exclusively managed by the tribe until the agreement is expired. With Hinkle’s resolution, the tribe’s demand was accepted and card games will be operated by them for another 15 years.

Even though the agreement expired last summer, the Seminole Tribe has continued to offer the Card games and slot machines that simulate blackjack are currently authorised by state gambling regulators at pari-mutuel facilities. David Romanik and Marc Dunbar, part-owners of Gretna Racing, said: “Any form of player-banking could be construed to be a crime subjecting Gretna Racing’s officers to potential criminal prosecution and possible imprisonment.” Judge Hinkel answered their appeal and told them that they’re not affected in the case, therefore they should not intervene.

“Even if Gretna could have qualified for permissive intervention on a timely application, which is not an obvious proposition, I would exercise my discretion to deny intervention at this late date as both untimely and otherwise inadvisable. The judgment in this case has no binding effect on Gretna and the order explaining the judgment will have a practical effect only to the extent a future tribunal finds the reasoning persuasive. If, as Gretna seems to believe, it has additional evidence that will persuade a judge to reach a different result, Gretna Racing will be free to present the evidence if ever its own interests become the subject of a judicial or administrative proceeding,” he concluded.