Florida regulators crack down on pari-mutuel cardrooms

  • Authorities in Florida taking action on pari-mutuel cardrooms
  • Action comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Gambling authorities in Florida have reportedly taken action to clamp down on pari-mutuel cardrooms. Two such rooms in the Sunshine State in particular have come to the attention of authorities.

Pari-mutuel betting is a type of gambling in which bettors back the first three finishers and then divide the losers’ stakes between them. Legislators have taken action in Florida however after reportedly becoming concerned that an agreement brokered between the state and the Seminole Tribe wasn’t being honoured.

florida cardroom

As a consequence, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has allegedly filed a complaint against the Sarasota Kennel Club, a move which was prefaced by a similar complaint being landed on Pensacola Greyhound Racing a week previously.

Pari-mutuel licenses

If the reported filing issued by the regulatory body is correct, the two card rooms don’t have the requisite permission to host such games. This is because pari-mutuel gambling veers into casino territory, whereas the card rooms are only licensed to allow players to compete against one another as opposed to a bank.

Lawyer Barry Richard, acting on behalf of the Seminole Tribe, has reportedly confirmed that a meeting had taken place between state officials and his client. The administrative complaint was filed following an agreement that had been reached earlier this year between the tribe and Florida regulators.

There is some evidence to suggest that in going up against the Seminole Tribe and Pensacola Greyhound Racing, regulators are hoping to set a precedent that will deter other card rooms in the state from offering pari-mutuel betting.

Popular amongst punters

If officials do succeed in stamping out this type of betting, it would likely be to the chagrin of punters, many of whom are extremely fond of this style of gambling.

Earlier this year, a District Court judge ruled in favour of the Seminole Tribe, authorising them to offer pari-mutuel gambling. The current dispute appears to centre over allegations that the tribe continued to offer these games after their license to do so had expired.

Previously, the Seminole Tribe had paid $1 billion for permission to offer banked card games for a period of five years. Whatever the outcome of the latest imbroglio, it seems unlikely that state legislators will want to throttle the tribe’s ability to generate gambling revenue altogether.

The card games that tribes such as the Seminole Tribe host play an important part in contributing towards Florida’s tax revenue.

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