The Florida Supreme Court may have dealt a major setback to gambling statewide in a ruling that seems at first glance to affect only one county.
The high court has ruled unanimously that slot machines will not be allowed in a facility in Gadsden County, even though voters there approved them by referendum. The ruling also comes after the panhandle dog and horse track sued because state regulators turned down a request for the slot machines at the urging of Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The Gadsden County decision could have far-reaching implications statewide—because voters in Lee, Brevard, Palm, Hamilton and Washington counties approved similar referendums.
The Florida Senate earlier this year approved a bill that would have allowed the slot machines in eight counties. But House Republicans refused to go along with the proposal, and the bill died.