Despite receiving overall approval from voters, in the referendum held in November 2012, it could be over two years until Legislature allows slot machines at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track.

Lee County voters passed the proposal to install slot machines with sixty-three percent of the vote but the Legislature must pass the bill before the games can be installed.

Owner of the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track Izzy Havenick is hoping that a Florida Legislator will listen to the wishes of the voters and pass the bill as quickly as possible.

“We hope the legislators will adhere to the will of the people,” Havenick said.

“An overwhelming majority of voters in five other counties also supported it.

“In today’s economic times, people want the jobs and additional revenue.

“Hopefully, the Legislature will act.”

However, newly elected representative Ray Rodrigues doesn’t believe the slot machines bill will be passed by a state Legislator unless a new Senate Gaming Committee issues a recommendation.

“I don’t think either the Senate or the House will do anything with slots until the Gaming Committee makes a recommendation,” Rodrigues said.

“I’m just a freshman representative, but I can’t imagine any member wasting one of their only six bills this session on that.”

Havenick and supporters of the slot machine bill for Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track have argued for well over a year that the addition of slot machines would significantly improve the Bonita Springs economy.

“For us, the whole campaign is about adding jobs — in excess of 500 new jobs — to the local economy, as well as creating a new revenue source for the city and the county,” Havenick said last year.

“We want to let people know we’re serious about keeping our promise, that we’re committed to creating jobs for the community.”

Source: News Press