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Magic City Casino Owner Moves Forward With Poker Room Plan

A petition filed this past September 10 with the state Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering ​shows the owners of Magic City Casino are serious about expanding their gambling operation beyond Flagler Street. The document asks division officials if Magic City's owners can build a new facility for inter-track wagering and card games without holding live parimutuel events. Banana Republican received a copy of the petition following our story detailing Miami Beach Vice-Mayor Jerry Libbin's desire to work with Magic City Casino executive vice-president Izzy Havenick to bring back gambling to the city Carl Fisher built.


Havenick and a group of partners own a gambling license to operate a poker room that is currently used to hold card games at Miami Jai-Alai during the summer. Libbin informed us that he'd like to work out a deal that would allow Havenick to run a poker tournament at the Miami Beach Convention Center in exchange for sharing the revenues with the city.

Havenick confirmed his meeting with Libbin, but he stressed that his company is not currently negotiating with the city. The casino executive says the license can be transferred from Miami Jai Alai to another venue. We're guessing if the parimutuel oversight agency grants its blessing, that negotiations would certainly intensify.

Read the petition below:
Petition for Dec Statement West Flagler Summer Jai Alai (1)

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.