The City of Miami Faces a Lawsuit from Magic City Casino
By Al Johnson // September 20, 2019
The city of Miami has almost no issues with allowing new gaming operations to set up shop as long as they get the license, invest enough funds in the venture and guarantee new jobs for the local population.
However, this year, there was a major mishap as one of the newest agreements between the city and Magic City Casino came crashing down due to a change in the region’s zoning laws.
The government of the City of Miami held a meeting where they agreed to change the zoning codes in the region, thus positioning Magic City Casino’s new venture outside of the legal area.
This caused the owners of the project, West Flagler Ltd to bring the project to a complete halt, ultimately wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The reason why the zoning codes changed so abruptly, is due to elections in April, where the community of Florida voted against the expansion of the gambling industry within the state, only refraining it within just a few regions next to Miami or tourist locations.
However, West Flagler had signed an agreement with the government of Florida as well as the city of Miami that the project would be finished somewhere around 2020.
The development started in 2017 and would cost the company around $350,000 to fully develop and launch. But the delay is going to cause a lot more damage than anticipated, thus rendering the investment almost null.
Similar cases abroad
Such cases have also been seen in various European nations, especially in the Nordics after the government prohibited private companies from owning any gambling venues.
The implementation of the law was quite abrupt and without warning, ultimately causing great financial damage to active companies as they couldn’t apply for foresight licenses or relocate in a timely manner.
In fact, even today, a substantial number of the population in these countries believes that it was a terrible decision to allow the government to make such changes without at least a referendum or some kind of public vote.
Most of them are saying that all of the Nordic and especially Norwegian odds bonus offers were completely gone, thus leaving the population to rely on their own resources rather than gifted ones from private ventures.
Although this scenario is highly unlikely in Miami, that much needs to be determined by the court hearing scheduled for May 2020. Speaking of which…
The lawsuit is in motion
Nobody believed that a local judge would approve a private company filing a lawsuit against the government, but here we are.
The case is so distorted and arguably one-sided that not allowing a hearing would be a very suspicious move by any judge. Because of this, a court hearing has been scheduled for next May where West Flagler will sue the city of Miami for $750,000 in order to cover all of the damages and lost revenue due to the delays.
Furthermore, it doesn’t seem that West Flagler will give up on the agreed-upon deal as well, due to rumors of wanting to pursue the venture anyway.
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