MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Could casino resorts be just what Florida needs to boost the bottom line?
Miami-Dade state Rep. Erik Fresen and state Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff from Ft. Lauderdale are betting on it. The duo is expected to file the Destination Resorts Bill this week which they hope will open door to three Las Vegas style casinos in South Florida.
A top executive with the Genting Group, which has purchased the Miami Herald property, traveled to Tallahassee to convince lawmakers that casinos will create thousands of permanent jobs and along with generating hundreds of millions in tax revenue. He’ll also push to build one of the world’s largest casinos in Downtown Miami.
The Miami Beach Convention Center has also emerged as a potential casino site. 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.
The Miami Dolphins organization also wants in if the bill is approved. They’ve hired a veteran lobbyist and appear to be pushing to make land around the football stadium eligible for casino licenses. The National Football League prohibits ties to gambling. However, holding companies tied to the team and its majority owner, Stephen Ross, own large tracts of land around the stadium. Ross could sell or lease the land.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reported Ross envisions the area as an entertainment destination.
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.
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