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Regulator: 'Shame on Us' If We Approved Illegal Card Games

June 1, 2016 - 6:15pm

Even if state regulators signed off on a popular type of card game years ago, that doesn't make the games legal, a Department of Business and Professional Regulation attorney told an administrative law judge on Wednesday.

The case involves Jacksonville Kennel Club, Inc. but could have wide-ranging implications for pari-mutuels throughout the state, most of which are hosting "designated-player" card games --- also known as "player-banked" card games. The games have eclipsed other poker games like Texas Hold 'Em among Florida gamblers, according to industry insiders.

State Complaints on Card Games Spur Legal Fight

May 31, 2016 - 9:15pm

Gambling regulators and a pari-mutuel operator at odds over the legality of popular card games, first authorized by the state more than four years ago, pitched their cases to an administrative law judge on Tuesday.

The issue involves "designated-player card games," also known as "player-banked card games," which include a hybrid of three-card poker and resemble casino-style card games but are played among gamblers instead of against the house.

Judge Sides With Horse Track Despite 'Our Gang' Races

May 26, 2016 - 6:30pm

Writing that the races were comparable to an "entry-level campers' horse show held at the conclusion of a two-week YMCA summer camp," an administrative law judge Thursday nevertheless found that state regulators lacked the authority to punish a tiny Hamilton County horse track for "flag drop" races held two years ago.

Marijuana Industry Sees Green in Florida

May 11, 2016 - 7:45pm

There wasn't a tie-dyed shirt to be found this week at a gathering in Central Florida where the buzz was all about the business of pot.
More than 3,000 people from across the nation and seven other countries swapped information about grow lights, soil nutrients and safes --- to stash money and products --- at the marijuana industry's premiere trade show. And the choice of Florida for the event was no accident.

Pot Challenges Rolling on Despite Law

May 9, 2016 - 10:00am

A new law that protects five nurseries may have given more ammunition to "ganjapreneurs" seeking an entree into what could be one of the nation's largest medical marijuana markets come this fall.

Judge Leaves Open Possibility of 3 Pot Licenses in Northeast Florida

May 2, 2016 - 9:30pm

Medical marijuana licenses given to two Northeast Florida nurseries by state health officials cannot be challenged by a grower who lost out in the application process, an administrative law judge ruled Monday.

But Judge R. Bruce McKibben left open the possibility for Loop's Nursery and Greenhouses to get a third license in the region.

Court Sides with Donald Trump in Failed Beachfront Project

April 27, 2016 - 5:00pm
Donald Trump

Donald Trump didn't misrepresent his role in a beachfront project in Fort Lauderdale that went bust in 2009, a Florida appeals court has ruled.

Investors in the project have battled for years to get back hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits from the real estate developer --- who's now the Republican presidential frontrunner, banking on his brand to boost him into the White House --- and his associates.

Battle Over 'Flag Drop' Horse Races Could Affect Slots

April 25, 2016 - 9:00pm

Gambling regulators and a tiny horse track in Hamilton County are at odds over whether a series of "flag drop" races two summers ago, which one former state official described as "a sham," constituted legitimate horse races.

Now it's up to an administrative law judge to decide whether Hamilton Downs Horsetrack should be punished for the races, in which some horses stopped midway down a dirt track, others threw their riders off and even more refused to start running when a red rag was waved.

Alimony Differences Heat Up outside the Governor's Office

April 12, 2016 - 7:15pm

The scene outside Gov. Rick Scott's office Tuesday may have been even more acrimonious than the alimony bill awaiting his action.

Men, women and a handful of children crammed into a waiting room, some bearing posters and balloons, attempting to bully each other into changing their positions on one of the legislative session's most controversial measures, a proposal that would overhaul the state's alimony laws and change the way judges decide child time-sharing arrangements.

But after a two-hour standoff, the attempts at conversion were futile.

Voting-Rights Groups Blocked From Recouping Legal Fees

March 26, 2016 - 6:00am

Groups that successfully challenged the Florida Legislature's congressional map aren't entitled to recover millions of dollars in legal fees from the state, an appellate court ruled Thursday.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal unanimously rejected arguments from a coalition of voting-rights organizations and a group of voters that their lawyers had essentially done the work of a "private attorney general" while state Attorney General Pam Bondi "sat on the sidelines."


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