We’ve decided after much thought and discussion to take a hiatus from THE CASINO DOCTORS to change our business model and blog. It’s been a wild ride this past 10 years as the State went from solely Indian tribal gaming, to statewide, basically unregulated casinos, racinos, card rooms, internet cafes, and, late breaking fantasy on line gambling.
Our predictions for the most part have come true. Wide Open.
The State of Florida has mismanaged the industry, as it swallowed up the Sunshine and spit out operations from little Gretna to Isle Capri, from the Palm Beach cruise to no- where to Genting’s go fast boat to Bimini, from strip mall internet cafes in Bradenton to the tremendously successful Hard Rock Resort of the Seminoles.
Looking back to Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush, two Governors who INSISTED they would NEVER allow any form of gambling expansion, a tip of our hats for opening gambling from Key West to Pensacola by simply ignoring it (and collecting massive funds all the while from sides both pro and con) (like their legislative colleagues).
Well, you can’t ignore it any longer because it’s in your face. The current Governor is in no rush to work out compact with the Seminoles. No big deal. The Tribe will still be open 24/7; But rest assured…..Frank Stronach will keep running horses, simulcasting and pokering and slots at the multi use Gulfstream Park; ditto John Brunetti at Hialeah; the Havenick family at Flagler/Magic City; Dan Atkins at Hollywood/Mardi Gras etc. and soon, the Rooney’s in West Palm… in fact there’s still a parimutuel license or two floating around which, when executed, would guarantee gambling in areas that haven’t yet been built out.
We’ve seen greyhound racing largely disappear as the economics and systems no longer suit the fans, and the real estate on which the dog tracks sit is among the most promising inner city tracts from Sarasota to Daytona, from Pensacola to Fort Myers. The departure of the mighty marathoners in favor of multi use commercial real estate beheamoths is on schedule. Dog racing will be done in the state by 2018.
Now gambling is all over the State. In some cases it is penny ante (for now); in some cases it is Vegasesque. There’s the full monte of an all in one entertainment, hotel, fine dining and gambling facility courtesy the Seminoles in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Genting will soon figure out what to do with its downtown Miami bayfront property f/k/a The Miami Herald, but continues to trumpet its new casino/sports book in Bimini. Trump, Adelson, Harrah’s et.al. are stalking in the weeds—-perhaps even to challenge their consummate corporate rival, Disney in its own back yard. There are others. Ladbrokes has been heard from.
As for the future, the gambling industry in Florida will have to consolidate to compete now that the NFL and NBA have basically decided to embrace betting either terestrial or internet—-there’s too much big money at stake not to; plus, the weather, tourists especially from South America and Europe, and the State’s long standing charysma lend itself to the industry. a la Macau and Las Vegas.
We’d like to thank several of our compadres for providing us info “on the record” especially Nick Sortal who is the only member of the media (Sun Sentinel) to have gambling as his daily beat/; and Jennifer Pierce whose information from Quarter Horses to back room politics has been invaluable. And, we’d like to thank the fine people at Earth Plaza (fort lauderdale) for hosting our articles and information.
Thanks for stopping by: May all your exactas be back wheeled and long shots; your 5 game parlays score weekly; your 23 red hits five consecutive times; and by all means, whenver possible, let it ride.