With the Florida State Legislature adjourning on Friday, March 9, it is not likely the City of Gretna will get the slot machine gambling it had hoped for.
There are eight counties (including Gadsden) in Florida that have passed local referendums in favor of allowing pari-mutuel racing facilities to operate slot machines.
These referendum counties were hoping the Florida Legislature would authorize new referendums on the issue this year that might hold more authority in terms of actually allowing slot machine gambling to begin in these counties.
However, the Florida House of Representatives gambling bill prohibits new permits, conversion of permits, or the transfer or relocation of pari-mutuel permits or licenses. Plus, the issue is not addressed in the Senate gambling bill.
Gretna City Manager Antonio Jefferson told WFSU, “I’m sad that in the community of Gretna and Gadsden County, we’ve got a quarter-of-a-million dollar investment in our community that’s going to create thousands of jobs — and that’s not even a consideration by this legislature.”
By Randall Lieberman