If the Havenicks were to push forward with the idea, they would have to find a place to host the gambling. City attorney Smith says the commission could approve a revenue-sharing agreement with Magic City Casino to use the convention center. "That is a policy decision by the elected officials," Smith says. "However, Mr. Havenick has a lot of hurdles to go through before he can do anything in the city."
Havenick says his family and their business partners, a group of parimutuel companies he declined to name, have owned the poker room permit since the kennel club was torn down. The permit was transferred to Miami Jai-Alai, where it has been used for the past 30 years during the summer. "That permit can be transferred anywhere in Miami-Dade," Havenick says, adding that the state's agreement with the Seminole tribe prohibits him and other parimutuel owners from pursuing slot machines in Miami Beach for 20 years.
Havenick stresses his family is not negotiating with the city at this time. "We have been approached by several cities to open a poker room," he says. "Right now, talks are very preliminary because we have been focused on Magic City Casino."