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Flagler Dog Track and Miami Jai-Alai to Offer Las Vegas Style Slot Machines

On October 8th, 2008, the two other pari-mutuels in Miami-Dade County, Florida, have move ahead of the Calder Racing Course in publicly announcing plans for casino facilities that will offer Las Vegas style slot machines. At the yearly Florida Gaming Summit in Hollywood, Florida on October 7th, 2008, the officials of the Flagler Dog Track and of Miami Jai-Alai said that they expect to open the casino facilities to the public during the 3rd quarter of 2009 and the 1st quarter of 2010.

They said that they would not consider Calder as a rival for the casino enthusiasts' dollars. Calder is 17 miles from Miami Jai-Alai and nineteen miles from the Flagler Dog Racing Track. Both are near the Miami International Airport. Parent company Churchill Downs Incorporated has stated that it plans to construct a casino at Calder, in Miami Gardens, Florida but it has not yet announced an exact date for start of construction or other important details.

On January 28th, 2008, Miami Dade voters approved a ballot issue that allows each of the three pari-mutuels to have a casino facility with up to 2,000 Class III Las Vegas style slot machines. Calder, the Greyhound racing track and the Jai-Alai fronton were partners in a campaign for the ballot issue. The conference was supported by Spectrum Gaming Group and the BNP Media Gaming Group and was held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. That casino is in Broward County and is located six miles north of Calder.

The Seminole Hard Rock offers Las Vegas style slot machines and since June 2008 has had Florida's legal blackjack and baccarat tables. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is offering those games even though the state Supreme Court of Florida on July 3rd, 2008 decided that Governor Charlie Crist's 2007 gaming compact that allowed the tribe was not allowed under the existing Florida law.

In its decision on a lawsuit filed by the Florida House of Representatives, the state Supreme Court said that Governor Crist exceeded his authority by allowing the Seminole Tribe to offer blackjack and baccarat, which are not allowed in Florida. Several legislators are critical to that expansion of gambling. The casino plans of Miami's two other pari-mutuels provide some indications of costs and construction timeframes that Calder might face.

The Flagler Dog Track has begun construction on a part of its facility where it hopes to debut a casino during the 3rd quarter of 2009, according to Alexander Havenick, the greyhound racing track's vice president of operations and legal affairs. Daniel Licciardi, vice president and general manager of the fronton's parent Florida Gaming Corporation said that Utility organizations are studying the Miami Jai-Alai's building for necessary changes for a planned renovation and new construction.


Sunday, 23 November 2008
Darren G. Strachan