Starkman admitted to losing the cash at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood playing blackjack, baccarat, and pai gow poker, but later argued in court that the losses were illegal because the Florida Legislature hadn’t yet approved a compact with the Seminole Tribe. Broward County Judge Richard Feder agreed and the Seminoles are now appealing the decision.
Starkman’s Lawyer Barry Blum says the argument comes down to when the state approved the tribe’s compact.
“Under Florida law, it’s an unenforceable debt because the compact wasn’t legal in November 2009,” said Blum.
However, in new filings in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals, the Seminole tribe’s attorney, Katherine Giddings, claims the date doesn’t matter since the legislature and the Seminoles had agreed to the compact before it was actually signed into law, which is why the tribe never stopped its compact payments to the state.