03/18/2014 2:23PM

Gulfstream entity can't use permit for Miami casino


Florida regulators have ruled that a nonprofit company controlled by Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach cannot use a gambling permit for a casino in Miami, according to a document provided by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

The document, a letter sent Friday to Gulfstream lobbyist Marc Dunbar from Leon Biegalski, the division’s executive director, states that it would be “illegal” to use the permit for the Miami casino, which was being planned by Gulfstream in partnership with Genting, a Malaysian conglomerate that already operates the most lucrative slot-machine facility in the United States, a casino adjacent to Aqueduct in New York.

Biegalski stated that the permit issued to the nonprofit Gulfstream Park Aftercare Racing Program, or GPTARP, was for an operation in Broward County, where Gulfstream is located. The Genting plan would have used the permit to operate a casino in Dade County, on waterfront property on Biscayne Bay formerly used by the Miami Herald for its headquarters.

“Since Florida law only authorizes relocation of the permit to another location in the same county, the relocation is unlawful,” Biegalski wrote.

The proposal to relocate the license was always considered a longshot, even by supporters. Gulfstream officials had previously said they would explore other options to get approval for the plan other than a ruling from the division, and it remains possible that the partnership’s lobbyists will push for a legislative solution, although that effort would face long odds as well.

Tim Ritvo, Gulfstream’s general manager, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.