In a stunning reversal, a Tallahassee judge on Monday decided he had gotten it “wrong the first time around” and decided that games known as “pre-reveal” are in fact illegal slot machines. 

Circuit Judge John Cooper, however, was quick to say his change of mind was not influenced by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, but rather by further argument on how pre-reveal, or “no chance,” games actually play.

Their lawyer had said that allowing the machines, which look and play like slots, violates their exclusive right to offer slot machines outside South Florida, imperiling the state’s cut of the Tribe’s gambling revenue.

“That’s a political issue,” Cooper said.

Argument offered Monday dealt with the state law on slot machines, the nature of randomness, and whether the “unpredictability” of games of chance lies with a player or with a game.

Cooper at one point even used an example of LeBron James shooting free throws to tease out the difference between skill and chance.

Kathey Bright Fanning, president of the Gator Coin II company that’s behind the machines, was in the courtroom for Monday’s proceeding. Afterward, she said she was “disappointed” with the judge’s turnabout.

“They’re wrong,” she said. “The Tribe is wrong.”

Cooper’s new decision, once in writing, will be “immediately appealable” to the 1st District Court of Appeal, he said.

Florida Politics will have a full story later this evening.

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