Lawyers for a North Florida racetrack have asked the state’s Supreme Court to rehear argument in a case over whether pari-mutuels can add slot machines in counties that passed referendums allowing them.
Last month, the court unanimously ruled against the track, meaning that gambling facilities in Gadsden County’s Gretna and in seven other counties that passed referendums allowing slots will not be able to offer them.
The court upheld a decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal that agreed with state gambling regulators who denied the track a slots permit.
The ruling was a blow for the state’s pari-mutuels and a win for gambling expansion opponents—if it had gone the other way, the decision might have led to the single biggest gambling expansion in the state.
The opinion, authored by Justice Charles Canady, found that “nothing in (state gambling law) grants any authority to regulate slot machine gaming to any county.”
The track’s 12-page motion counters, in part, that the justices “misapprehended” case law on counties’ home rule authority.
Track lawyer Marc Dunbar, also a part owner, told justices in oral argument last June that the Legislature intended to allow for an expansion of slot machines in the state, saying counties were empowered under state law to decide whether to allow slots.
Lawmakers, many of whom have bitterly complained of judicial overreach into policy, failed to agree on a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s gambling laws this Legislative Session.
As of Monday morning, the court had not responded to the motion. Voters in Brevard, Duval, Gadsden, Hamilton, Lee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Washington counties have approved slots.