Legalizing Slot Machines
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by: Gene Koprowski. Slots, Online casino gambling articles.
The debut of new, legalized slot machines in Broward County is coming next month, and other gambling entrepreneurs there in South Florida are already crafting expansion plans.

Pari-mutuel operators are asking Miami-Dade County voters to allow slots, and are asking the legislature to license Broward racetrack casinos for an unlimited number of machines, all at a lower tax rate. What's more, the industry wants restrictions on card rooms removed, enabing high stakes poker.

Well more than 250 racing executives, casino owners and gambling machine vendors convened yesterday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to plan for the industry's future. The meeting was part of the "second annual" Florida Gaming Summit, a conference that also featured chats with international gambling experts and executive from Broward's four pari-mutuels betting facilties.
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First Slot Machines

The event came just a few days from the first slot machines being installed at the Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach and Mardi Gras Racetrack & Gaming Center, formerly Hollywood Greyhound Track.

Nearly two years ago, Florida voters approved a plan enabling residents in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to determine if they desired slot machines at off-track betting facilities, and a year ago Broward approved the measure. Since that time, the legislature has drafted slots regulations and the pari-mutuels have gone through a licensing process.

Miami-Dade's off-track betting shops will attempt to get voters to reconsider slots in an election sometime during the next year, said Isadore Havenick, the director of public affairs for Flagler Dog Track in Miami.

Havenick said the industry "should be, in fact, virtually unstoppable."
No Restrictions

According to State Sen. Steve Geller (D-Hallandale Beach), he is planning to propose a bill at the next legislative session that will "permanently remove" the restrictions on the number of machines at Broward's racetrack casinos.

He said the state tax rate on slots revenues -- 50 percent -- is too high and was set by lawmakers and a governor, Jeb Bush, who wanted to make the taxes onerous. Geller, said he wants the legislator to reconsider the tax rate.

The state projects that $209 million from gambling is going to go to education.

According to Allan Solomon, executive vice president of Pompano Park's parent company, he wants to see the limits lifted on the off-track betting (OTB) facilities' card rooms, enabling them to operate for more hours every day.

© Copyright 2006 Gene Koprowski's material. It may not be published, broadcasted, rewritten, or redistributed.

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