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While that fight remains in litigation, Romanik acknowledged that applying for a jai-alai fronton could be his next move. August 24, The card room and jai-alai fronton would yield between 75 and jobs, with another 30 jobs in a video game arcade, Wallace said. No one covers what is happening in our community better than we do.

The commission created a new land-use category for gambling. Create a designated place for gambling far enough away from schools and homes. The horse-racing industry argues that barrel racing is not a parimutuel sport.

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As a result, the games will debut in a not-so-fancy pre-fab structure, and trailers will house a poker room, bathrooms and showers. John Brunetti, owner of the casino and historic horse racing track in Hialeah, purchased the Florida City property at E.

His new site is starkly different than Hialeah Park, which Brunetti has owned since Mary Ellen Klas contributed to this report. Brunetti hopes to bring a slice of the same to Florida City. Such permits can be used to construct a jai-alai fronton and poker room anywhere in the county in which it is issued.

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The provision allowed the facility with the lowest annual volume of bets to seek an additional jai-alai permit for use during summer months. At that point, Brunetti had the chance to build anywhere.

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The first phase, which is expected to be completed by June on about three acres, will include an indoor 17,square-foot jai-alai center, a 2,square-foot bingo trailer, restroom trailers and shower trailers.

Order Reprint of this Story March 25, Right now, about single family homes, town homes and two hotels are in the works. Florida City officials were told that the project would create between and jobs during construction.

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Those plans, however, call for the shut-down of the Southern Comfort RV Resort, a campground that attracts seasonal workers at Turkey Point and snowbirds seeking affordable housing near the Florida Keys. The park opened in and later came to be known as the most beautiful racetrack in the world, according to the National Register of Historic Places, which designated the park as historic in After a battle over racing dates, the Hialeah track went dark for eight seasons.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties are already home to a half-dozen parimutuel facilities that operate slots and card rooms in addition to wagering on parimutuel sports; two more existing parimutuels in the region are eligible for slots.

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Horse-racing leaders fear that Romanik is trying to bring the Gretna model to Florida City, which dramatically cuts both the costs and payouts associated with racing. No one covers what is happening in our community better than we do. For now though, this is the focus.

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That could come in the form of a quarter horse racetrack, jai-alai fronton — or both — located adjacent to the Florida Keys Outlet Center. Once the facility hosts its first game, Brunetti is then eligible to apply for a license to operate a poker room.

But industry experts say when it comes to economics, neither the racetrack nor the jai-alai fronton are going to drive business. Wallace sees the complex as the magnet for other new businesses in the agricultural city.

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The mayor said it might open as soon as next year. InFlorida City was home to about 12, residents — almost half of them living under the poverty line, according to the U. If Brunetti fails to hold the four days of jai-alai matches by the deadline, the state will hold a hearing to determine whether to fine him or suspend the license.

Decoupling is included in an expansive gaming bill pending before the state Senate. Today, it hosts quarter horse races and a casino with a poker room and more than slot machines.

A more limited gambling bill proposed in the state House does not include decoupling. Either format would carry a license for the ultimate goal: Later, with its landscaped gardens and resident flamingos, the site was recognized as a bird sanctuary by the Audubon Society.

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Slot machines are far more popular in the gambling world — and bring in more money. According to their state permit, the property must hold its first jai-alai matches by June 11 and three more sets by June And with a digital subscription, you'll never miss a local story.

A second phase could come later with a quarter horse track.

Hoping to take advantage of that prime location, the owner of Hialeah Park has broken ground in Florida City on a development that will include a jai-alai fronton, and later, he hopes, a poker room that will draw in tourists en route to someplace else. Brunetti said the timeline for closing the park is unclear.

If the Florida City effort succeeds, it will have plenty of company. Food trucks and small snack bars will be stationed out front.