Online Slots News

Florida Supreme Court Hears Case Against Broward and Miami-Dade Slots Issue

On September 17th, 2007, a case that sets the casino facilities in South Florida against a group of anti-gaming organizations reached the high court of Florida in a case that if successful, could unravel the legal foundation of the slot machines at casino facilities in Broward County and Miami-Dade County.

The case which was filed in the court almost three years ago, states that the petition to put the slot machine issue on the ballot was filled with fake signatures. The constitutional amendment allowed Las Vegas style slot machines to Broward and Miami Dade counties if the voters gave their approval.

After the voters passed the amendment with 51% approval, Circuit Judge Nikki Ann Clark from Tallahassee decided that the allegations of fake signatures are not true. But the organization of slots critics like Floridians Against Expanded Gambling, the U.S. Humane Society and Greyhound 2K, a national organization that is against Greyhound racing brought the issue to the state's Supreme Court.

A lawyer for the group said that the cheating allegations were made before the slots election so the case should still be evaluated. Casino owners are expecting a favorable resolution to the case. Dad Adkins, the chief executive of Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center in Hallandale Beach said that the whole case has been blown out of context.

The county of Broward has 3 casino facilities: The Mardi Gras casino, the Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach and the Isle at the Pompano Park. A fourth casino, the Dania Jai Alai is already on the planning board. Miami-Dade County voters dismissed the slots proposal in 2005 but will have another chance to vote on the slots issue for their pari-mutuels in January.

The casinos in Broward are expected to produce $113 million in taxes for the state. During the arguments from both sides, the justices asked both attorneys whether they should hear the case or give it back for a retrial. They also have asked how long such a legal question should be valid.

They have focused their attention on other questions like whether the gaming critics who have filed the lawsuit explain the allegations clearly or not. The state Supreme Court was originally petitioned to deal with two important issues: first, can the slots signatures be questioned even after the election supervisors have validated them and after the ballot has been printed out and the absentee voting has started? Also, can a change in the state constitution be dismissed after the election if some parts of the signature in the slots petition that allowed the election turn out to be false?

If the state Supreme Court, which will decide on a later date, sides with the casinos, the case is finished. If the case of the gaming critics wins, then the lawsuit will go to trial. The justices have raised another choice: allow the case to go to trial before making any decision.


Wednesday, 03 October 2007
Darren G. Strachan