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US – Florida Commission delays sale of Magic City to Poarch Band of Creek Indians

By - 2 December 2022

The Florida Gaming Control Commission has indefinitely postponed the transfer of the gaming licence from Magic City Casino in Miami to an Alabama-based tribe Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Currently owned by Miami’s Havenick family and its West Flagler Associates, Magic City operates 800 slots, poker tables and live seasonal Jai-Alai. The Havenicks family has entered into an asset purchase agreement with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, operating as Wind Creek Miami.

However, five members of the commission agreed that the deal would be delayed until the company discloses more information to the public.

Commission Chairman John MacIver said: “My concern here is with the sunshine aspects of this. We cannot take any action as a collegial body without an opportunity for the public to provide meaningful input. The level of meaningful input that is appropriate is something that belongs to the public to decide. Because there is some question about an over-redaction of the material, what is very likely not relevant to any legitimate opposition, material is probably redacted, but the general public has a right to see that material before we take any action.”

Jay Dorris, President and CEO of Wind Creek Hospitality, said: “We continue to move forward with the purchase. Out of deference to the commission, Wind Creek Hospitality will have no further comment about this transaction at this time.”

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians already has 10 gaming operations, with two gambling licences in North Florida, a greyhound permit and a cardroom in Pensacola, and a barrel racing track and poker room in Gretna. 

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