A Florida judge heard arguments Tuesday from horsemen and state gambling regulators over whether Calder Race Course should legally be able to maintain its slots license.
At issue is a state law that says slot machine areas must remain “contiguous and connected” to the area where live races are taking place. It a lawsuit, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association argued the destruction of Calder's grandstand in 2016 and subsequently, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering issuing another slots license to the track amounted to violating that law.
But the attorney representing state regulators said the requirement for “contiguous and connected” is now fulfilled by a sidewalk.
The lawyer for Calder, which is owned by Churchill Downs, Inc. and leased to the Stronach Group as Gulfstream Park West for racing, said Tuesday's hearing was about something else entirely.
“What this case is really all about is that the horsemen want to dictate how Calder should operate its pari-mutuel business” and “tell Calder to build an air-conditioned grandstand building,” said Wilbur Brewton.
The judge will make a ruling in the case at a future date.
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