TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Supreme Court has cleared the way for the landmark Hialeah Park to install slot machines alongside it’s slate of quarter-horse racing, and in the process cleared the way for slot machines to be permitted anywhere in the state.
Hialeah was given permission by the legislature in 2009 to install slot machines, even though the track was not in operation when similar permission was given to other Miami-Dade horse tracks, dog tracks, and Jai-alai frontons.
Other operators sued to block Hialeah, but a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal last year upheld the law.
The decision was appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which issued a one-page ruling saying it was dismissing the case. Five of the seven justices supported the order.
The action clears the way for Hialeah to open it’s own Racino, part of the strategy when track owners returned the historic facility to operation after it had lay virtually unused for almost a decade.
Hialeah chose to open racing quarter horses when it was unable to get standard racing dates, but it was widely believed that the park could not survive without casino gambling.