Dania Casino and Jai Alai closes for remodeling; Isle of Capri files Rules Challenge against Florida DBPR; New Proposed Rules on Indian Tribal recognition; Congressman repeats call for legislation reversing of DOJ ruling legalizing internet gambling; Increased pressure on financial institutions and casinos to comply with anti-money-laundering rules; New Mexico sues DOI over proposed Indian Gaming Compact; Adult Arcades try to stay in business by changing business model; Pinellas County Commission rejects current request by Derby Lanes Kennel Club for referendum on slot machines.
According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Dania Casino and Jai Alai is closing for remodeling only six months after it opened. The facility was grossing much less than its nearby neighbors Gulfstream Racetrack, Mardi Gras Casino, and the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Broward. The attorney for Dania stated that Dania was unable to fully renovate the property while parts of it were still open to the public.
Isle of Capri casino in Pompano Beach has filed a Rule Challenge against the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering (DPMW). According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, the DPMW changed its prior interpretation of what gross revenue racinos with poker need to pay taxes on. The prior interpretation did not require racinos to pay taxes on a “dealer add-on”, which served as a tip to the poker dealers. The new interpretation requires the racinos to pay taxes on the dealer add-on. The attorney for Isle of Capri has challenged the ruling on a number of legal grounds.
The Obama administration has proposed an update to rules on recognition of Indian tribes. Many tribes across the Country have either never been Federally recognized, or have had their tribal recognition revoked, as pointed out in the Seattle Times, printing an article from the McClatchy Washington Bureau. The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is accepting comments on the proposed rule until September 30. While some groups support the proposed rule, others oppose it. Some of the opposition is from groups that oppose making the tribal recognition process any easier, while some of the opposition is from groups that feel that the rules still make it to difficult to achieve recognition. This has the potential to affect Florida, as there are several groups in Florida seeking Federal tribal recognition.
The Hill cites a new report from Newsweek where Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) repeated his request for Congress to pass legislation reversing the “Christmas Surprise”, where the United States Department of Justice reversed its longstanding policy on internet gambling. As most of our readers will recall, that ruling reversed decades of opinions that the Wire Act made all internet gambling illegal, and stated that the Wire Act only applied to sports wagering, and that therefore intrastate internet gambling could be made legal by the affected states. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has sponsored the Legislation in the Senate. Chaffetz took particular aim at online gambling sites aimed at children.
A lengthy article by Peter Rudegair and Brett Wolf from Reuters talks about the increased pressure from United States regulatory officials on financial institutions and casinos to enforce anti money-laundering rules, and the harsh penalties being imposed for failure to fully comply.
According to Multiple media reports, the Governor of New Mexico has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to prevent the DOI from implementing an Indian Gambling Compact with the Pojoaque Pueblo which the State has not approved. The new proposed compact would eliminate revenue sharing with the State, allow the serving of alcohol in gambling areas, and make other changes. In 2007, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas ruled that the DOI could not impose compacts in this fashion, but that ruling was not appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and New Mexico is not in the 5th
WTVJ NBC 6 in Miami, did a hidden camera expose showing how Adult Arcades, which were made illegal under Florida law, are continuing to operate by changing how they operate. This expose showed an Adult Arcade which maintains that what they are doing is now legal, because the facility is now a “Social Club”.
The Pinellas County Commission rejected the request by Derby Lanes Kennel Club to add a referendum to the upcoming election on legalizing slot machines at Derby Lanes. The Tampa Tribune reports that the Commission was supportive of Derby Lanes, but raised questions about whether such a referendum would be effective, if the Commission had time to draft a referendum by the deadline to submit to the Supervisor of Elections, and raised questions about the cost. The Commission instead said that they would consider adding the issue of legalizing slot machines at pari-mutuels throughout the State to its State Legislative agenda.