SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – It’s a new day for gambling enthusiasts living in Sunrise.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that a major Las Vegas casino company announced a partnership Tuesday with Sunrise Sports Entertainment, parent company of the Florida Panthers, in an attempt to bring casino gambling to the city.

Boyd Gaming, which owns 17 casinos, said it will work with the Panthers owner, which also operates of the BankAtlantic Center.

With the Sawgrass Mills mall across the street and the BankAtlantic Center drawing crowds to concerts and hockey games, the casino would have little problem getting people to stop and take a spin at the slots, Boyd chief executive officer Keith Smith said.

“While additional Florida development is contingent on the state passing legislation, this agreement gives us an additional exciting option for Florida if and when it does,” he said.

Sunrise Sports CEO Michael Yormark added, “When you think about premier locations in South Florida, we’re sitting on one.”

Yormark said the National Hockey League has OK’d the opening of a casino next to a professional team, but he acknowledged it will be awhile before a shovel goes into the ground.

“We’re going to work with the city, the county and, obviously, the state Legislature,” he said. “It’s the first step in a long process. But we’re confident we have the right plan and the right strategy.”

Yormark noted the center also isn’t as difficult to reach as one may think, because of the Sawgrass Expressway and Interstate 595. “From here to the airport, it’s one stoplight,” he said.

Details such as the size of the hotel and casino amenities would depend on what the Legislature would approve, but the 90-acre BankAtlantic Center property has plenty of room. It also would be the only casino in west Broward County, which has increased in population in recent years.

Read the full article in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.