Florida hearing could shape state's approach to gaming

Florida hearing could shape state's approach to gamingThe Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about whether barrel racing qualifies as enough of a pari-mutuel event to fuel an explosion of gaming activity across the state.

The case involves a small racetrack in tiny Gretna, a small town about 25 miles from the state capital Tallahassee in north Florida.

The case involves a number of gaming-related questions such as whether the Gretna track is entitled to slot machines as the result of a successful county referendum in 2012.

Counties such as Palm Beach are ready to go with applications for slot licenses. What happens next depends on the court’s decision in the Gretna case.

A ruling that favors Gretna would also upset the foundation on which a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is based. The compact gives exclusivity to the tribe for slots outside Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: 

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