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.
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.