Florida Supreme Court hears gaming arguments

Jun 8, 2016 12:27 PM

The Florida Supreme Court was asked Tuesday to make a decision about the legality of slot machines at a small north Florida track in Gretna that could shape the future of gaming across the nation’s third largest state.

The justices did not immediately rule but several of them appeared skeptical with one of them saying at one point, “This whole thing makes no sense.”

More than one person has said much the same thing about Florida’s gaming policy that has varied interests pulling ion different directions.

The justices must decide whether or not the Republican-controlled Legislature made a change to state law in 2009 that shifted control over slot machines to counties or if this is a flawed misreading of state law.

The final ruling could have a wide effect because voters in Lee, Brevard and Palm Beach counties as well as the north Florida counties of Hamilton and Washington have approved similar referendums. Slot machines are currently limited to south Florida tracks and to casinos such as the Hard Rock facilities  run by the Seminole tribe.

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