County Blocked From Intervening In Gretna Slots Case

December 31, 2015

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a request from Gadsden County to formally intervene in a closely watched case about slot machines — but the county will be able to file a friend-of-the-court brief.

The case focuses on whether slot machines should be allowed at the Gretna Racing pari-mutuel facility in Gadsden County owned by the Poarch Creek Indians of Atmore, but it also could have implications for pari-mutuels in Brevard, Hamilton, Lee, Palm Beach and Washington counties.

Voters in Gadsden and the other five counties approved allowing slot machines in referendums, but the Supreme Court is expected to decide whether the lucrative machines can be offered without the express permission of the Legislature. In a motion to intervene as a party this month, Gadsden County argued it had the right to authorize a referendum that would clear the way for slots.

The Supreme Court, however, issued a three-sentence order Wednesday denying the request to intervene, though it said the county could file a friend-of-the-court brief by January 6.

Gretna Racing took the case to the Supreme Court after a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in October sided with Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott’s administration in ruling that legislative approval was needed for slots.

by The News Service of Florida


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