TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – An appeals court ruling in Tallahassee could open the door to more casino resorts in Florida.

On Wednesday a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments concerning a circuit judge’s ruling which said lawmakers can allow slot machines anywhere in Florida.  Circuit Judge James Shelfer made the decision last year when he dismissed part of a lawsuit challenging slot machines at Hialeah Park.

Competing horse and dog tracks filed the suit. They argued that slot machines should be limited to pari-mutuel facilities already up and running in South Florida in 2004 because that is what the voters approved in a slot machine amendment to the Florida Constitution.

Hialeah was dormant for eight years before reopening in 2009. But last December the state issued Hialeah Park a license to operate slots and other games of chance after given approval by the legislature and its challengers lost their court fight.

If the appeals panel decides to let the ruling stand it could open the door for more casinos across the state.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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