Some Florida business thought that they could skirt gambling laws with pre-reveal slot machines. But a Circuit Court Judge has ruled that unlicensed pre-reveal slots are illegal.
Let’s discuss why these slot machines were deemed illegal and what led to the judge’s decision.
Seminole Tribe was Behind the Case
The Seminole Tribe has exclusive rights to slot machines and house-banked card games in Florida (minus 2 counties).
In exchange, the tribe gives a percentage of their slots revenue to the state. But this deal was put into jeopardy by businesses that began offering pre-reveal slots.
As the name implies, pre-reveal slot machines let players preview what the next game result will be before betting. But the gamble is that they don’t know what the outcome will be of the future games after this.
Essentially, knowing the result of the next game helps these games avoid the gambling distinction. But given that you don’t know the result of other future spins, these machines obviously constitute gambling.
Many bars and restaurants were using these machines to get around state laws. But the Seminole Tribe’s casinos were threatened, and they wanted to stop these games as quickly as possible.
“Nobody leaves a winning game on the machine, so you always start with a losing game,” said lawyer Barry Richard, who was representing the tribe.
“And you’re playing a losing game even though you know it. Why do you do that? You do it because you want the chance of winning the next game and you don’t know the result of the next game. That’s a slot machine.”
Tribe Threatened to Pull their Revenue-Sharing Deal
According to WCTV, Gator Coin II manufactures the pre-reveal machines used in Florida. And they challenged the court on grounds that these games aren’t gambling.
Judge John Cooper originally sided with Gator Coin II. But then he reversed his decision when the tribe appealed.
“The tribe is entitled to have no competition, even from one machine,” Richard sad. “They’re paying over 250 million dollars a year. That’s twice as much as the casino taxes from all of the parimutuels put together.”
In actuality, this case comes down to money. Florida stands to make far more from the Seminole Tribe’s casinos than they do from pre-reveal machines littered throughout bars and gas stations.