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US – Florida files lawsuit over ‘illegal’ blackjack tables

By - 2 November 2015

The state of Florida has now filed a lawsuit in a Tampa federal court asking a judge to order the Seminole Tribe of Florida to cease operating blackjack tables.

Florida does not have legal jurisdiction over tribal reservations.

The Seminoles were supposed to remove the blackjack tables at the end of September. But the tribe filed a lawsuit seeking to keep blackjack and other banked card games in place.

The request follows the end of a five-year deal allowing blackjack at casinos such as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino locations in Tampa and Hollywood. The tribe was given a 90-day grace period to remove them but with that period coming to an end the tribe filed its own lawsuit. It believes it can continue operating the games while the lawsuit is under consideration.

Ken Lawson, the secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said: “Under the existing compact, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is now illegally operating their banked card games. In accordance with the existing compact, the state is asking the court to order the tribe to cease operations.”

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