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No Casinos decries 1st District Court of Appeal decision to allow counties to approve new slot machines

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In the wake of Friday afternoon’s surprise 1st District Court of Appeal ruling allowing Entertainment Creek in the Gadsden County city of Gretna to move forward in implementing new slot machines, the Orlando-based anti-gambling advocacy group No Casinos issued a stern rebuke of the decision.

“Today’s court ruling has far-reaching implications for the people of Florida. When voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment in 2004, the will of the people was to limit slot machines to existing locations in two Florida counties,” executive director Paul Seago said in a written statement.

In a reference to the state’s ongoing negotiation with the Seminole Tribe of Florida over their exclusive rights to operate card games, Seago continued: “If this ruling stands, it could negatively impact communities across the state as well as jeopardize compacts in place with Native American tribes, costing the state billions of dollars.”

“We call on the Florida Supreme to review this case and once and for all enforce the limitations on gambling that have been part of the Florida Constitution since 1968,” the statement concluded.

They may well get their wish if the Florida Supreme Court acts in accordance with the 1st DCA’s ruling: in their 50-page decision striking down Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s decision to prohibit the slots, the appellate court requested the high court take up the issue.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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