Casino Watch Focus has reported on the various efforts to shut down greyhound racing in Florida. The direct issue of live dog racing was settled with voter support in favor of a constitutional ban on live races in Florida. The facilities are still allowed to show simulcast races and they can still operate as mini casinos as the amendment didn’t shut down their existing slot machine offerings. However, even with that much operating ability under the new law, facility owners challenged the law claiming it violated the 5th Amendment by taking away their property. That case has now been dismissed by the Florida court. An online source explains:
A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the state’s greyhound racing ban on constitutional grounds. Chief US District Judge Mark Walker said in a 55-page ruling this week that the prohibition was a “legitimate exercise in Florida’s police power,” rejecting the plaintiffs’ arguments that the ban represented an illegal “taking of property” without just compensation.
Walker ruled that Florida had used its police powers to prevent “plaintiffs’ property from being used in a particular manner that the State has determined to be contrary to the health, morals, or safety of the community.”
The plaintiffs also argued the amendment had violated their equal protection rights because the State of Florida continued to permit wagering on horse racing. The lawsuit claimed dog racing had been singled out because it was “politically unpopular.” But the judge rejected the equal protection claim because Amendment 13 “does not involve suspect classes such as race, gender, or national origin.”
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