As legislators in Florida have failed to pass a law on slot machine operation at Broward County’s four pari-mutuels, lawyers for the four have filed a suit asking for a judge to decide if they have the authorization to start operating the machines. Gambling opponents have also filed a lawsuit to stop slot machine operation until such time as the legislature passes a law on regulations and taxation. This does not appear to be a matter of urgency for Florida’s lawmakers at present.
The pari-mutuel lawsuit names State Attorney Michael J Satz as defendant, and Pompano Park Racing, Gulfstream Park, Daria Jai-Alai and Hollywood Greyhound Track are seeking to avoid criminal or civil prosecutions by having a legal decision on the authorization of slot machine operations. So far it is not known whether a special session will be needed, as the recent legislative session ended without a law being adopted.
Now that the legalization of slot machine operations, voted for by Broward County residents last March, has ended up in the courts, the pari-mutuel companies will have quite a wait before they see their profits enhanced by machine revenue. Whatever the outcome of the two initial lawsuits, the rulings are likely to be appealed. With the Florida state Governor in no hurry to expand gaming choices, the battle will doubtless be a long one. (E-05.25.05)
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