Voters in two north Florida counties approved measures that may allow slot machine permits at pari-mutual facilities in the counties on Tuesday, reports the News Service of Florida. The votes in Washington County near Panama City and Gadsden County near Tallahassee marked the first approvals of slot gaming by voters outside Miami-Dade and Broward County, but the future of the moves to bring Vegas style gambling to the two areas remains unclear. Attorney General Pam Bondi has cast doubt on whether the votes will allow slot permits to be issued, and the question now is likely to end up in courts. The dog track in Ebro in Washington County, north of Panama City, is seeking to offer slot gaming and a new barrel horse racing track in Gretna in Gadsden County would offer slots. About 3,800 voters in tiny Washington County voted “yes” on the slots referendum to about 2,800 opposed, according to preliminary results. In Gadsden County the vote was more convincing, approving the idea 63 percent to 37 percent. James Dorris, president of the PCI Gaming Authority, which owns the Gretna facility, said the company would now start the process to offer slots at the facility along I-10 west of Tallahassee. “We will now work through the licensing process with the State of Florida and deal with those who will erect legal obstacles to oppose the project,” Dorris said. “We are grateful for the support shown by the vote today and remain committed to delivering on the promise of creating over 1500 new jobs by growing Creek Entertainment Gretna into a year round resort destination.”
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.