Florida, Seminoles seek blackjack trial delay; Hard Rock Tampa’s VIP slots room

florida-seminole-blackjack-trial-delayFlorida’s state government and the Seminole Tribe have asked a federal court to delay a trial over the tribe’s ability to offer blackjack at its casinos.

On Wednesday, attorneys for both the tribe and the state asked a federal judge in Tallahassee to delay the trial, which had been scheduled for two weeks in July. Both parties claim they need more time to interview potential witnesses and are requesting the trial be put off until October.

Clearly, both parties appear to have assumed that the state legislature would approve the new $3b gaming compact the tribe concluded with Gov. Rick Scott last December, an action that would have rendered a trial unnecessary. But legislators’ failure to satisfy all the state’s various gambling stakeholders means there will be no new compact approved until 2017 (at the earliest) and here we are.

The previous compact expired last July, and with it went the tribe’s exclusive right to house-banked card games at its casinos. The state filed suit to force the tribe to stop offering blackjack and other games but the tribe filed its own lawsuit alleging that the state had violated the compact’s terms by allowing state racetracks to offer electronic versions of these games.

So long as the matter is unresolved, the Seminoles continue to offer blackjack at their casinos while bolstering their other gambling options, including a new VIP slots room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa that launched last month.

Reserved for high-rollers, the room features 85 high-limit machines, as well as various other chi-chi amenities to remind the high-rollers that they don’t have to face the indignities of associating with the riff-raff over at the penny slots.

The room also features a very-VIP private salon with four machines that can be swapped for others on a guest’s whim, plus a private restroom so guests never have to fear their bare buttocks coming into contact with residual DNA left behind by the hoi polloi.