Lawmakers in a Florida county last week decided to vote in November whether slot machines will be allowed where pari-mutuel betting is permitted. This would apply to gaming in Fort Pierce, Fla. and would directly affect that city’s local gambling hall, Fort Pierce Jai-Alai and Poker. County Commissioners voted 5-0 meaning the measure will be on the ballot come November 8.
Representatives from the gambling hall said that if the vote passes and slot machines are added, they will add a $100 million building and hire 500 more employees. The county is in for additional revenue as well thanks to a local-share revenue fee, modeling an agreement at a similar casino in Miami, where that county pulls 1 ½ percent of revenue.
Voters in Brevard and Palm Beach passed similar initiatives in 2012, but those counties have yet to see a slot machine. The Legislature needs to change state law, which only permits slots in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, as well as on Native American land.
As November approaches, an advertising campaign led by Fort Pierce Jai-Alai and Poker will begin. Thanks to AMOA-Florida President AJ Kress for keeping us in the loop.