Genting to open slots-only casino in Miami

Jan 09, 2014 January 09, 2014

Gambling operator Resorts World Omni has struck a deal with Gulfstream Park in the hope of getting slot machines rolling a downtown Miami property.

The proposal is a dramatically scaled-back version of the glamorous casino resort once pitched to — and rejected by — Florida lawmakers, and it hinges on a controversial permit at the horse track.

The agreement between Resorts World, a division of Malaysia-based Genting Group, and Gulfstream, along with breeders and thoroughbred horse owners and trainers, involves relocating a permit to the Miami bayfront property purchased by Genting in 2011 for $236 million.

Backers of the deal are hoping lawmakers will sign off on the plan, which they contend would be a major boon for the horse-racing industry in Florida, as the Legislature undertakes a sweeping review of gambling during the 2014 session.

But others in the pari-mutuel industry say that, if approved, it would be a major shift in the state’s gambling landscape and essentially “decouple” horse and dog racing from slot machine

The permit at the heart of the deal was issued to the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare Retirement Program, a non-profit linked to The Stronach Group, which also owns Gulfstream. Proceeds from the non-profit go toward caring for horses after they retire from racing and toward benefits for disabled jockeys as well as increases in purses.

But the permit has been entangled in a battle over whether the permit issued to the non-profit, now called the Gulfstream Park After Racing Program but known as “GPTARP,” is situated in Broward County, where Gulfstream’s permit is located, or in Miami-Dade County, as Gulfstream and its lawyers contend.

State law allows pari-mutuel permit holders in Broward and Miami-Dade counties to also operate up to 2,000 slot machines. Under the deal, GPTARP would continue to run horse races at Gulfstream, while Resorts World would manage the slot machine and cardroom operations at its downtown property.

The plan would give Resorts World entrée into the gambling world in South Florida although on a much smaller scale than the $3 billion luxury casino once envisioned at the 14-acre property,  to The Miami Herald for four decades.[...]

 

Read more at cbsmiami.com

 

 

 

 

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