Land Around Miami Dolphins Stadium Eyed for a Casino

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The Miami Dolphins may want their Miami Gardens land to be considered for a casino license, and have dispatched a lobbyist to preserve that option should Florida lawmakers approve a landmark expansion of gambling. The team itself couldn’t own or operate a casino because of National Football League strict anti-gambling rules. But holding companies tied to the team and its majority owner, Stephen Ross, own large tracts of land around the stadium. Ross has always envisioned the area as an entertainment destination beyond sports and last year announced plans for a 20-acre water park across from Sun Life Stadium. Should the Dolphins succeed in making its land eligible for a casino license, Ross could sell or lease the land and enjoy the profits as well as spillover traffic and spending from gamblers traveling to a casino owned by someone else. Erik Fresen, the Miami representative drafting a bill that would grant South Florida licenses for three casino resorts, said he has met with Dolphins lobbyist Ron Book on the matter. He described the Dolphins as “interested” in casinos and wanting to protect the team’s interest in case Florida approves large gambling resorts.

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