Casino Watch Focus reported that an appeals court was looking at a case that could have major gambling expansion implications; implications that could affect the entire state and likely evoke the Supreme Court to resolve the matter. The case involved the constitutionality of legislation to expand slot machines outside of Miami-Dade county. Now, the Palm Beach Post is reporting that the court has affirmed the lower court ruling, thus allowing slots anywhere in Florida:
State lawmakers can authorize slot machines anywhere in Florida, an appellate court ruled Thursday. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed a prior decision that could open the door to letting the Legislature permit casino resorts in the state. More immediately the unanimous ruling makes Hialeah’s race track eligible for slots, although the opinion may be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.
This ruling, if allowed stand, essentially takes the vote for expanding gambling away from the people. This would open the door for major gambling expansion projects that could severely impact a community, and they would have no say in the matter. The St. Petersburg Times explains:
The ruling was hailed by Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, and Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, who want legislators to approve their proposal to build three resort casinos in Miami Dade and Broward Counties without first having to seek voter approval. They have filed identical proposals to invite companies to submit bids for three casino licenses to a newly created Florida Gaming Commission.