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Gambling Loopholes in Florida Remain Open

Gambling Loopholes in Florida Remain Open

Florida Gambling Legislators Fail To Close Loopholes

A patchwork of legislation over time has led to increasingly confusing gambling laws in Florida.

Recently, legislators have sought to close these issues with a comprehensive gambling bill. However, the state’s last legislative session saw the failure to such a bill to close these loopholes, and has potentially given way for more to be opened.

Gambling Loopholes in Florida Remain Open

Florida lawmakers sought to do a bit of house cleaning this year when it came to gambling legislation, but ultimately failed.

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal overturned the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s denial of a Miami-Dade county permit request to build a new jai alai fronton. The decision is seen as a potential gateway to poker and slots operation within the state.

The permit request was made by West Flagler Associates, the operator of Magic City Casino in Florida City, who under the law cited in appeal can potentially open and operate a poker room anywhere in Miami-Dade County.

The loophole that exists is 30 years old and has only just now been taken advantage of.

As a result of the law’s loophole, West Flagler was passed the eligibility from Hialeah Park, the lowest-performing pari-mutuel operation, which declined the permit.

As a result of the casino operator’s ability to host poker rooms, and the Hialeah Park’s eligibility to operate slots on premises, lawyers for West Flagler argued and successfully convinced courts that they should be allowed to operate both poker and slots on any premises they own.

OCA News Editor