No slots for Florida racetracks


The Florida Supreme Court ruled against slot machines settings in state’s dog and horse tracks.

US.- Florida’s ambition of gambling expansion has been stopped again as the state’s Supreme Court has prohibited casino expansion throughout local counties. The Florida Court released on Thursday its resolution that dismisses the counties’ attempts to install slot machines on dog and horse tracks.

Several counties’ administrations proposed a public ballot to decide whether to allow or reject gaming expansion in their facilities. However, the Supreme Court stated that local ballots to approve casino operations are illegal, as those governments do not have authority to call for slot machines expansion.

As reported by the Miami Herald, a lawsuit filed with the Supreme Court demanded a license to operate slot machines in a track located 25 miles west of Tallahassee, in Gadsden County, where residents voted in favour of gaming expansion. The lawsuit, presented by owners of the racetrack Gretna Racing, was unanimously rejected yesterday, when the Court dictated that counties’ governments have no legal authority to grant gaming permissions.

“In the absence of such a specific authorisation, a county cannot initiate a referendum that will authorise the Division to issue a license any more than the county could itself issue a slot machine gaming license,” commented Justice Charles Canady in a quote on the Miami Herald. Furthermore, he explained that there is not any legislation that “grants any authority to regulate slot machine gaming to any county. The only role that counties play regarding slot machine gaming is conducting referenda when authorised by law.”

According to Florida officials, the installation of slot machines in several counties’ facilities would have jeopardised the state’s agreement with the Seminole Tribe. Currently, the native operators have exclusive rights of offering casino services in exchange for US$120 million annually. “That could have had far reaching negative impacts to the state,” added Sen. Bill Galvano.