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MIAMI (CBS4)- A few more casinos may be popping up across South Florida, specifically near the Miami Dolphins Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center, should Florida lawmakers approve a landmark expansion of gambling.
The stadium may want the land surrounding their football stadium to be considered for a casino license, and have reportedly dispatched a lobbyist to preserve that option. Notable, the Miami Beach Convention Center emerged as a potential casino site, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
City and county officials said developers looking for ways to snag coveted gambling licenses have floated the idea of razing the complex and remaking it as a modern convention center combined with a casino resort.
“That has been talked about. People have said maybe this is a place to put” a casino, Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower told the Herald. “To me, this is a distraction from the real job of getting a new convention center.”
But there are extensive complications with both sites. The National Football League prohibits any ties to gambling, while Miami Beach, which owns the convention center, has a policy opposing gambling. For years, the city has been exploring a major overhaul of the convention center that would include a hotel.
Despite the obstacles, the addition of two new potential casino locations — joining land near the Donald Trump hotels and condo towers in Sunny Isles Beach, Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Miami Herald headquarters in Miami and an area in Miami’s Park West neighborhood — shows just how quickly the notion of gambling has scrambled South Florida’s real estate ambitions.
Should the Dolphins succeed in making its land eligible for a casino license, its majority owner, Stephen Ross, could sell or lease the land and enjoy the profits as well as spillover traffic and spending from gamblers traveling to a casino owned by someone else.
In a statement, the Dolphins emphasized the team itself would not pursue a casino. But the team also suggested it wanted to preserve its site as a player in the gambling debate.
For more on this story, including the statement, click here.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)