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Judge: Seminole Tribe Can Keep Blackjack Tables


A federal judge says that the Seminole Tribe of Florida can keep blackjack tables at its casinos.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on Wednesday sided with the tribe in a legal tussle against the state of Florida.

The state and Seminoles reached a deal in 2010 that allowed blackjack at the tribe's casinos, but that provision expired last year. Florida has been paid nearly $1.7 billion as a result.

State officials wanted the judge to order the tribe to remove its blackjack tables. But Hinkle ruled that the tribe can keep the tables for another 14 years because state regulators allowed dog and horse tracks to put in card games that mimicked what the tribe offered.

The ruling could prompt state officials and the tribe to negotiate a new deal.

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