Settlement with Magic City Casino would ban gambling elsewhere in city
After hearing parties are nearing a settlement on a jai-alai and poker establishment in the Edgewater neighborhood, Miami city commissioners decided last week to defer a previously scheduled meeting that was to be closed to the public.
Vice Chairman Ken Russell said his understanding was that both sides are at the table in good faith. While getting close to a settlement, he said, they are not there yet and would like a little more time.
The issue, deferred from to Feb. 11 to Feb. 25, is now scheduled for a vote at the March 11 meeting.
Currently, several lawsuits are being discussed between the parties. The owners of Magic City Casino allege in a April 2019 suit that a change in zoning laws disrupted their progress with the jai-alai and poker establishment in the Edgewater neighborhood at 3030 Biscayne Blvd. West Flagler Associates contends the company had a permit to build from Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering before city commissioners voted in 2018 to require that four of the five-member city commission must approve any new gambling locations.
Auto dealer Norman Braman, developer Jorge Perez, the Brickell Homeowners Association and the Morningside Civic Association sued the City of Miami and City Manager Arthur Noriega, claiming city officials wrongly granted zoning approval to West Flagler Associates for the facility.
Attorney Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, who is outside counsel for the city, confirmed sides are close to an agreement and said a global settlement would be ideal. As of last week, she didn’t have a draft of the ordinance Mr. Braman’s group has suggested by which they would dismiss their litigation if the city commission bans gaming in the rest of the city.