Florida appeals court rules lawmakers can OK slot machines anywhere in the state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- An appeals court has affirmed a ruling that lawmakers can authorize slot machines anywhere in Florida.

The decision Thursday could open the door to letting the Legislature permit casino resorts in the state.

More immediately it makes Hialeah's race track eligible for slots.

The 1st District Court of Appeal's opinion, though, is likely to be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

Competitors had challenged a law passed last yearthat allows slots at Hialeah Park.

They argued Hialeah didn't qualify under a state constitutional amendment voters passed in 2004.

The amendment permitted slots at certain horse and dog tracks and jail alai frontons in Miami-Dade and Broward counties if approved through local referendums.

A trial court ruled that didn't prevent the Legislature from approving additional slot machines anywhere.

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