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Court to Hear Argument in the Gretna Slots Case

In recent development, Supreme Court of Florida will hear arguments with respect to a horse track that goes by the name of Gadsden Country on June 7. This will have great implications with reference to the pari-mutuels spread across the state. There are certain important decisions that need to be taken with regards to the case as the implications concern more than one party. Immediate decisions will make it easier for everyone concerned in the matter to take the process forward. This is not a new proposition, in fact suggestions to have slot machines at dog tracks have been going on since a very long time. In some cases it has been successful as well.

One the biggest tasks that is bestowed upon the hands of the court is to decide the fate of having slot machines in the Gretna Racing, which is a small horse track, without the permission exclusively from the Legislature. The court, it seems, has accepted the jurisdiction in the concerned case with reference to a previous ruling by the appellate court. This court ruled out the possibility of having slot machines without the express authorisation of the Legislature. This decision was contrary to the judgement that the voters wanted slot machines as was mentioned in the referendum.

Initially, both the 1st District Court of Appeal along with the Attorney General Pam Bondi with the Gov Rick Scott’s group had questioned the Supreme Court asking about the concerned issue. They brought a valid question into the fore, which was the fact that if the voters agreed to have slot machines in the pari-mutuels, then do the group need express permission from the Legislature or not.

Furthermore, this ruling will have a direct impact on more countries such as Palm Beach, Brevard, Washington, Hamilton and Lee. These countries are also facing a similar situation where the voters have approved said referendums concerning slot machines at local pari-mutuels.

A court law of 2009 mentioned that the voters approved referendums that stated at slot machines can be allowed at god tracks in Miami-Dade countries and Broward. This was also based on a sematic analysis. This 2009 law made it possible for the Hialeah track, which was not operative at that instance to start functioning again. It opened somewhat lucrative land-based slots at that time. Similarly, the Gretna case also borrows some remnants from the 2009 law, and gives further accountability for having slot machines at pari-mutuels since the voters largely have no objection towards it.

The law has three basic clauses, one of them deals with the counties that happen to be outside of Miami-Dade and Broward. The regulators at the state level have denied the slot license to Gretna track. Their main reason for not giving permission was that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation do not have the authority to grant such a permission in the first place. This means that issuing a license for slot machines to operate in a pari-mutuel facility has to gain permission from a higher authority.