Jeffrey Soffer, whose family property portfolio includes Aventura Mall and the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, is negotiating to acquire the Mardi Gras Casino and Race Track in Hallandale Beach.
But Soffer dismissed the possibility of transferring the Mardi Gras property’s casino license to the Fontainebleau, even though the Soffer family has wanted to bring a casino to the Miami Beach resort.
He told the Miami Herald on Friday that such a transfer is illegal and not under consideration.
He also told the Herald that he would personally invest in the Mardis Gras property at 831 North Federal Highway without the involvement of Turnberry, the family-run real estate business that owns the Fontainebleau and Aventura Mall.
Negotiations to sell Mardi Gras come after damage from Hurricane Irma shut down the Hallandale Beach property for several months.
Soffer expects to acquire Mardi Gras within a few months after concluding negotiations with the owner, a company called Hartman & Tyner.
State law prohibits the transfer of casino licenses from one property to another despite proposals to allow such transfers. The state in 2014 blocked an attempt by Gulfstream Park, a horse track in Hallandale Beach, to transfer its pari-mutuel permit to Omni hotel complex just north of downtown Miami, owned by Malaysian casino operator Genting. [Miami Herald] – Mike Seemuth