The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, a group that oversees gambling in the state of Florida, has seen their Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering approve a new gambling facility to move forward with their project plans. To be located near the downtown area of Miami, the new facility could provide gamblers with jai-alai and poker gaming options in a two-year time frame.
West Flagler Associates were given a ‘summer jai-alai’ permit, which gives the company the ability to build and operate a gaming facility in Edgewater. The company is already the owner and operator of the Magic City Casino and the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Racing & Poker venues.
The permit approval is a win for the company as they tried in the past to gain permission for another venue, having won a court case in 2017 that reinstated their application for a second permit for jai-alai that used a loophole found within state law.
According to the Miami Herald, Isadore Havenick, the vice president of West Flagler, commented on the new permit by stating: “We’ve just been waiting for a year and a half for the state to decide what to do. We see it as just another entertainment offering in the Miami area.”
The venue project in Edgewater has yet to be named, but once opened, would be part of a group of new facilities that are expanding with jai-alai in the region of South Florida. The sport was quite popular in the past, having faded into the background over the past few decades. West Flagler is focused on jai-alai at present, with plans for the new venue as well as a phasing out of dog racing at the Magic City Casino for jai-alai.
With the summer permit, West Flagler will be able to offer the jai-alai games from May to November. Poker games will be on offer once the first jai-alai game is played. During the winter months when gaming will cease, the venue will offer other types of entertainment that will include concerts and comedy performances. A restaurant will also be added on site.