Now Genting is Resorting to a Confusing Lawsuit to Get Gambling at Resorts World Miami
Malaysian casino conglomerate Genting is suing Miami-Dade County as well as state prosecutors in, as the Miami Herald puts it, “what appears to be a last-ditch effort to force the state to allow card games and slots at its property in the old Omni mall.” That might even be putting this latest tactic to legalize the planned Resorts World Miami mildly because the suit, which reeks of desperation from a company used to getting its way no matter what, is based on a novel and downright confusing legal tactic.
Based on reading and re-reading the Miami Herald’s coverage, here’s what we think is going on:
- Genting has already failed multiple times to change Florida gambling laws and get a Downtown Miami casino legalized, most recently in the 2016 legislative session. But don’t worry, they still have a team of lobbyists up in Tallahassee on payroll.
- In 2014 Genting entered into a partnership with Gulfstream Park Racetrack to operate their planned casino in Downtown Miami under Gulfstream’s gambling license.
- Guflstream Park’s gambling license is limited to Broward County, where the horse race track is based. However, Gulfstream Park’s property straddles the county line, and a small southern leg of the track actually extends into Miami-Dade County.
- Gulfstream and Genting have successfully held races on or near that southern leg, in Miami-Dade County. They held two short races in 2013 and got away with it, and claimed this meant they could conduct gambling operations in Miami-Dade County.
- Regulators responded (and we’re paraphrasing here) “Umm nope, sorry. Duh.
- Fast forward to 2016 and Genting still says it moved Gulfstream’s gambling permit to Miami-Dade County even though regulators still say “Nope.”
- Whether a five star casino or underground gambling racket, running an illegal gambling establishment is a criminal and not a civil charge.
- With the current lawsuit, Genting is saying (again, paraphrasing) “We think we’ve already legally transferred the permit. Regardless of that, we don’t think regulators have the power to enforce criminal laws anyway. So, they shouldn’t be able to stop us.”