Dania casino shut out in gambling permit case - Florida Politics

Dania casino shut out in gambling permit case

State gambling regulators this week shot down a request by a South Florida gambling permitholder who wanted sell the permit and allow the next operator to build on a new location in Broward County.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Monday said both sales of permits and any relocation of gambling—both time-consuming processes—have to be OK’d by the department’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which regulates gambling in the state.

The decision further cements the state’s control over where and how gambling is offered, particularly after a permit is granted.

The department’s “final order” also is a win for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which asked to intervene in the case.

The Seminoles, who operate the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, had said allowing gambling licenses to be moved within a county “would provide out-of-state companies (with) an incentive to (buy) a license, possibly resulting in increased business competition for the Tribe.”

Dania Entertainment Center, the company that owns The Casino @ Dania Beach, asked for a declaratory judgment on its “converted” summer jai alai permit.

Pari-mutuels, particularly in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, covet jai alai gaming permits because at a minimum they also allow a facility to open a cardroom and offer simulcast betting. The Casino @ Dania Beach also currently offers slots and electronic table games.

The company has a tentative deal with an unnamed buyer that wants to build a casino at a new location. The terms of the sale require the ability to set up shop elsewhere in the county. The casino is owned by a group of Argentine investors and South Florida’s Havenick family, which also runs the casino.

If the permit can’t be relocated, that limits its “marketability” and “will diminish the tax revenue and opportunity for mass local job creation that could be generated,” the original request said.

John Lockwood, the company’s Tallahassee-based attorney, said his client is considering an appeal to the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

1 Comment

  1. If the permit can’t be relocated, that limits its “marketability” and “will diminish the tax revenue and opportunity for mass local job creation that could be generated,” the original request said.

    Mass local job creation???? What are the real number of employees working at Dania now? They use the word MASS to make you believe there will be thousands of jobs which is a bold face lie. Jai Alai will not make any facility money or create jobs. Poker will only create a small force of dealers and supervisors. Slots also will have a small force of attendants and supervisors. The other jobs are basic pay positions which are throw away positions and the turnover rate is very high for the casino. Very few stay in those positions for a long time.

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