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Bondi, state regulators say no to slots at Gretna and raise doubts about Palm Beach

by Dara Kam | January 12th, 2012

State regulators won’t give a Panhandle horsetrack permission to have slot machines without legislative approval or changes to the state constitution based on an opinion issued by Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday.

Her non-binding opinion also puts in doubt a local bill Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Kennel Club are seeking to get slots approved at the dog track. A referendum on the slots will go before county voters in November.

Bondi issued the opinion in response to a question from state gambling regulators regarding Creek Entertainment Gretna racetrack in Gadsden County. Voters there and in Washington County will decide on Jan. 31 whether they want to allow their local pari-mutuels to offer slots, something the Gretna owners are banking on.

But Bondi said the referenda would only be valid if they are first authorized by the Legislature or in the state Constitution, and Department of Business and Professional Regulation officials said they would comply with her opinion.

Lawyers for PBKC and the Gretna track rejected Bondi’s opinion, accusing her of being biased against the slot machines and promising that the courts will ultimately decide on the issue.

“This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that an Attorney General has opined, for political issues, on a gambling issue outside of their authority,” attorney Marc Dunbar, one of the owners of the Gretna track, said in a statement. “Fortunately the Supreme Court has ruled on many occasions that these advisory opinions have no binding affect and more times than not are eventually rejected by Florida courts. I look forward to meeting her in court where law, not politics, will ultimately decide the issue.”

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2 Responses to “Bondi, state regulators say no to slots at Gretna and raise doubts about Palm Beach”

  1. Joe bigboy Says:

    Another Republican’t who campaigned on “less government regulation of our lives” and then gives us more regulation or our lives.

    Adults can decide for themselves how to spend their own money & leisure time. We don’t need some Republican hack telling us we can’t do this or that.
    To stop casinos coming to Florida is to stop high paying full benefit jobs from coming to Florida.
    Republicans have been talking down the economy and destroying the job market since 2008 – all in an effort to gain power. They will hurt anyone if it means gaining power.

  2. Kay Kenyon Says:

    Uh huh. It appears likely that certain conniving gambling interests have greased the wheels of a united governmental opposition to the lawful launching of slots at this start-up Gretna horse racing facility, when approval of barrel racing as a parimutuel venue had already been conclusively won in court.

    The AG’s opinion, like her anal orifice, is her’s alone. She is free to express same, but she is NOT the final decision maker on whether slots will fly in Gretna or Palm Beach.She must be delusional to think she has the right to quash a legal referendum, or she could be also a beneficiary of the Big Wheel’s green grease, too.

    And, Artful Dodger Gov. Scott is as duplicitous as they come and dealing with this self-serving numbskull is like trying to walk on quicksand. Rumor has it he solicited old Senator Dennis Jones to do his dirty work, to covertly overturn barrel racing as a legitimate gambling vehicle.

    Imagine that!

    Senator Dr. Dennis Jones is a doddering old fool who actually has stated in print he is an authority on skull concussions and that chiropractors have had the right to treat head injuries since 1931—WRONG!!!!!This is completely outside chiropractic’s scope of practice. This imbecile is the puppet behind Scott’s flip on barrel racing in his latest bogus bill.

    It’s time to kick all these bogus job and economic prosperity killers out of office and let them try and find a job in the private sector. Like cleaning the toilets at Mac Donalds, would be a good career move. They all certainly are experts in the full of crap department.

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