The purpose of this discussion is to authorize the Acting City Attorney to retain outside counsel to represent the City’s interests and, if necessary, initiate a legal challenge to any action by the Florida Legislature to permit casino gambling in the City of Miami Beach or in Miami-Dade County.
In 2017, and pursuant to Ordinance Nos. 2017-4104 and 2017-4125, the City Commission amended the Land Development Regulations and Comprehensive Plan to broadly prohibit casinos and other gambling operations throughout the City. The City Commission’s opposition to casino gambling is longstanding, as evidenced by Resolution Nos. 2021-31612, 2018-30382, 2018-30199, 2017-29846, 2014-28529, 2011-27812, 2008-26927, and 2008-26925.
Any expansion of casino gambling, whether in Miami-Dade County or in Miami Beach, would impose grave economic and social costs on our community. Gambling is fundamentally incompatible with the City’s residential neighborhoods, historic character, and vibrant economy. Moreover, gambling would impede the City’s efforts to raise its profile as a cultural destination.
Given that gambling is already prohibited throughout the City, any action by the Florida Legislature to permit a casino or other gambling operation in Miami Beach would infringe upon the City’s home rule. Accordingly, I am seeking the support of the City Commission to authorize the Acting City Attorney to retain outside counsel to monitor and, if necessary, initiate a challenge to any gambling-related legislation introduced or adopted during the 2021 legislative session.