Miami Beach is moving quickly to ban casinos in the city

Miami /
May.May 03, 2017 12:30 PM

The Miami Beach City Commission unanimously voted on Wednesday to start the process for new legislation that would ban casinos throughout the city.

The proposed measure will now go before the Miami Beach Planning Board on May 11 followed by a first reading vote by the city commission.

The move was in response to the State Legislature’s proposed expansion of gambling facilities in Miami-Dade County, which stalled late Tuesday as a result of an impasse between House and Senate leaders. If the state’s update to existing gambling laws is approved, it would pave the way for more casinos in South Florida. Currently, gambling is allowed at pari mutuel facilities and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

Malaysian company Genting has wanted to build a casino resort on the former site of the Miami Herald on Biscayne Bay since purchasing the property in 2011. Last week, the Miami Herald reported that the owners of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach are also likely to compete for the slots license.

Alex Heckler, an attorney representing the Fontainebleau, urged city commissioners to first conduct an economic impact study now that the state gambling legislation has sputtered. “We understand your concerns,” Heckler said. “We request you do this with your eyes wide open.”

Miami Beach activist Frank Del Vecchio said the Soffer family, which owns the Fontainebleau, should back the proposed zoning ordinance banning casinos. “We all know what gambling brings,” Del Vecchio said. “It is devastating. The Fontainebleau should step up to the plate as a longtime citizen of this community. Junk the gambling.”

Car dealership magnate and Art Basel Miami Beach host committee chairman Norman Braman said a casino would negatively affect the international art fair. “Gambling is not compatible with a world class art fair,” he said. “We need to be cognizant of how gambling will hurt our community.

Commissioner Ricky Arriola also suggested Miami Beach officials need to lobby their counterparts in the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County to oppose any casino expansion across the bay. “If there is a mega-casino in Miami, it will begin a cascade because every hotel is going to say, ‘I need slot machines to compete,’” Arriola said. “The legislature put us in a bad situation.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
369 North Hibiscus Drive (Villazzo Realty, iStock) Buddhist, Mansion
Lawyer pays $14M for waterfront Hibiscus Island manse that hosted Tibetan Buddhist masters
Lawyer pays $14M for waterfront Hibiscus Island manse that hosted Tibetan Buddhist masters
From left: Stephen Macricostas and Andre Branch in front of 4535 Nautilus Court (Getty Images, Redfin)
Buyer of Andre Branch’s former Miami Beach house flips it for $7M
Buyer of Andre Branch’s former Miami Beach house flips it for $7M
Rise at Brickell City Centre at 88 SW 7 Street in Miami (Condos.com)
Closing at Rise tops Miami-Dade’s weekly condo sales
Closing at Rise tops Miami-Dade’s weekly condo sales
Alex and Yanina Sapir (Getty, Instagram, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Developer Alex Sapir’s wife files for divorce, citing a “loveless” marriage
Developer Alex Sapir’s wife files for divorce, citing a “loveless” marriage
Pebb Capital's Todd Rosenberg with 4000 Collins Avenue (Loopnet, iStock)
Pebb JV sells CVS-anchored retail space in Miami Beach for $18M
Pebb JV sells CVS-anchored retail space in Miami Beach for $18M
Black Lion Investments' Robert Rivani and the Ritz-Carlton Residences at 4701 North Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach (Ritz-Carlton Residences, Black Lion Investments)
Black Lion’s den: Robert Rivani pays $8M for waterfront Miami Beach penthouse
Black Lion’s den: Robert Rivani pays $8M for waterfront Miami Beach penthouse
Emilio and Gloria Estefan with 444 West Rivo Alto Drive (Getty, Redfin)
Gloria and Emilio Estefan sell waterfront Venetian Islands home
Gloria and Emilio Estefan sell waterfront Venetian Islands home
Michele and Kevin Segalla and Ilya Karpov with 320 Hibiscus Drive (LinkedIn, Craig Denis) Miami, Mansions
Mobile gaming tycoon, investment manager wife pay $29M for Hibiscus Island spec mansion
Mobile gaming tycoon, investment manager wife pay $29M for Hibiscus Island spec mansion
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...