Knowing When To Fold 'Em, Genting Abandons Casino Law Petition Drive

Dec 7, 2012

With new leadership running the Florida Legislature and gambling regulation prominently on the table, the Genting Group has abandoned its plan to seek voter approval of a casino gambling amendment.

LETTING IT RIDE: Genting is betting millions it can persuade Florida lawmakers to authorize resort casinos
Credit Leong Sze Hian

Genting, the Malaysian gambling behemoth which bought the Miami Herald headquarters with a plan to create a fantastical seaside casino, now says it will slow down and work with -- instead of around -- the Legislature.

Here's the quote the Herald's Mary Ellen Klas got from Genting:

“We are not going forward with a petition drive effort and there have not been any petitions gathered,’’ said Brian Ballard, a lobbyist for Genting, after meeting with House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz. “The approach the Legislature is taking with this — a thoughtful analysis — we think makes absolute sense and we want to be a constructive player in it.”

Gaetz and Weatherford have served notice that casino interests will have to sit out the 2013 legislative session and hope instead for a bill the following year. By then, lawmakers may have a better grasp of what regulatory framework will be necessary and it may have reached an accommodation with the Seminole tribe, which theoretically has a state monopoly on blackjack and other casino table games.

The Seminole gambling compact, worth more than a quarter-billion dollars a year to the state, may have to be renegotiated.

Having spent its own quarter-billion for the Herald property, and another million on organizing a petition campaign that it now abandons, Genting says it will go ahead with a multi-use resort complex on the Herald's 14 acres on Biscayne Bay.

You have to see this promotional video  of the Herald site with a Genting casino on it.