Stories written by ISADORE HAVENICK

2014 Gaming Bills Released

At long last the Florida Senate and Florida House have released their respective gaming bills for the 2014 legislative session. They represent divergent views on gaming expansion within the sunshine state and left many people shaking their heads. The Florida Senate put out a bill, actually three bills that do the following: establish a gaming […]

The Latest Rumor

The Florida Legislature has been busy the past few weeks taking proactive steps to position themselves for the upcoming session as it relates to gambling. The latest out of Tallahassee is that after the 2014 session all future gaming legislation will need to be ratified by a vote of the residents of the State of […]

Entertainment Options

There are so many entertainment options for us here in South Florida. Here is a short list of musical performers slated to be in town over the next two months:• Bret Michaels • Bret Michaels • Cheap Trick • Lynyrd Skynyrd • Exposé • Three Dog Night • Kansas • Sammy Hagar • Cyndi Lauper […]

Re-Writing or Re-Righting

The pari-mutuel industry in Florida [horse racing – dog racing – jaialai] is regulated by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This agency that the industry knows simply as “DBPR” has oversight for all activities that take place at Florida’s pari-mutuel facilities including poker and slot machine activities. Just this past week the agency […]

Two New Beginnings

Two weeks ago the City of Hialeah welcomed the opening of the Casino at Hialeah Park. Within five days of that opening The Casino at Miami Jai- Alai filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy. The facilities are a mere two miles apart and now one opens with great fanfare while the other appears on the brink […]

Players have options

In most of my columns I write about the potential for gaming in and around Miami Beach. I touch on what’s going on in the legislature and the political strategies being employed by those eying gaming opportunities in South Florida. This column will highlight a few of the local gaming properties and what they offer: […]

Fast Ferry Off to Slow Start

Maylasian corporate behemoth, Genting, has started a fast ferry service to Bimini where they have a small casino under construction. Genting is the company that purchased the Miami Herald building and the Omni hotel. They brought their corporate road show to Tallahassee where they encountered more roadblocks than they had anticipated. Plans for a mega […]

Dolphins and Marlins


  Most politically savvy South Floridians were slightly shocked that the bill to allow a bed tax increase to fund Dolphin Stadium improvements never made it to a vote in the Florida Legislature. Some call it the “Marlin” effect as certainly the voters in Miami-Dade County were stung by the one-sided business deal engineered by […]

Adult Arcades and Internet Cafés


So what is everyone in Tallahassee talking about these days? Seems like the buzz in the legislative hallways the last few weeks has centered on Dave and Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese’s. Why are grown men and women spending so much time preoccupied with businesses that feature children’s games? It seems that an exemption granted […]

The Question of Regulation

The Florida Legislature has been busy the past few weeks, taking proactive steps to outlaw internet sweepstakes cafes in the state of Florida. Many of these facilities were operating under the guise of benefitting charitable organizations, including the Allied Veterans Foundation. An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement uncovered that a minimal amount […]

Does anyone care?

The search is well underway to see what the future holds for the Miami Beach Convention Center. There are mixed feelings about the vision, but I was surprised by the perception of an International gaming company that responded to a question on this subject at a recent gaming industry forum. This company has interest in […]

Legislature stirring the gaming pot

Once again the Florida legislature has set its eyes on the convoluted Florida gaming industry. A request for proposal (RFP) has been issued as the legislative branch undertakes a comprehensive study of gambling in the sunshine state. This will be interesting for several reasons. Firstly, the State has to find an unbiased reputable firm to […]

Tribal Power

All around the country, Indian gaming has been steadily gaining momentum and fostering large paydays for tribal members. Florida is no exception to this pattern. We have two tribes that operate gaming in Miami-Dade and Broward County. The Miccosukee tribe has a hotel, golf course, and slot casino operation out in western Dade County. The […]

A Busy Beach

It is that time of year. The boat show brings crowds from around the country, if not the world, to marvel at an unmatched collection of high-end yachts. They sit in a cluster on the Intracoastal Waterway across from the famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. Buyers and dreamers alike climb on board to see what […]