Casino Watch Focus has reported that Florida Appellate Court ruled 2-1 to allow slot machines in Gadsden. Voters approved a referendum for a slot license but the Attorney Generals office said the county had no authority to issue the license. Many spoke out in opposition, including key Florida lawmakers. The Washington County Times explains:
Galvano, who was instrumental in crafting legislation that accompanied the Seminole compact, railed against the May 29 ruling. He said the statute was intended to allow counties to have slots only if both the Legislature and voters gave them permission to do so.
“The language is very clear. The court decision is simply a misinterpretation of the law. The department has interpreted it correctly. The attorney general’s office has interpreted it correctly. The circuit court has interpreted it correctly and Judge Makar interpreted it correctly. The majority opinion in the recent case was not accurate,” Galvano, a lawyer, said, referring to appeals-court Judge Scott Makar, who wrote a dissenting opinion.
The Court asked the Supreme Court to take up the case and provide the final decision on the matter. However, Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General, is asking the court to reconsider the ruling. The Tampa Tribune explains:
Calling it a “monumental change,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today asked an appeals court to reconsider a far-reaching ruling that could lead to slot machines at several dog and horse tracks.
The ruling was decided by a 2-1 margin, but Bondi’s office wants the entire 15-member court to review the case.
If left unchallenged, the decision could have wide impact: Voters in Lee, Brevard and Palm Beach counties as well as the north Florida counties of Hamilton and Washington have approved similar referendums. Slot machines are currently limited to south Florida tracks and casinos run by the Seminole Tribe.
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