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Florida Pari-Mutuels to Offer Casino Table Games Themed Machines said on October 10th, 2009 that Florida players will soon see blackjack, roulette and keno themed slot machines as a result of an agreement between Florida gaming regulators and Bally Technologies, Shuffle Master, IGT and Gulfstream Park.

The four gaming companies combined resources in a rule challenge against Florida's gaming regulator which was blocking machines with casino table game themes from entering the main stream of the Florida pari-mutuel casino gaming market.

Despite the game being in play at the gaming facilities managed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the regulator repeatedly reiterated a prohibition against machines that "replicate" a casino table game. Alleging that the restriction was "unfair" and "capricious", the coalition of machine manufacturers said that the game were only considered slot machines under Florida law even if they are patterned after casino table games and should be allowed in the pari-mutuel market.

After almost a year and an administrative test, the Florida gaming regulator and the parties concern settled the issue in exchange for permitting blackjack, roulette and keno-themed machines into the state. The decision, while limited to those three machine manufacturers, is expected to have a wider reach over the next few years as the regulator is required under the deal to rewrite its laws to remove the block against replicating a casino table game.

Marc Dunbar, a shareholder with the Pennington law group who managed the case for the machine manufacturers said that it was a fair agreement which will hopefully allow more gaming products in Florida. The licensed pari-mutuel casino facilities in the state which will the new gaming products are Isle of Capri at Pompano Park, Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, Calder Race Course and Casino, Magic City Casino and the Hollywood Dog Track.


Monday, October 26 , 2009
Tim Arnell