Slot Machines at Our Airport?

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Sometimes Miami-Dade County Hall reminds me of that guy who's always dreaming up wacky get-rich-quick schemes and shady money-making ideas ("Dude, I just bought that book from the guy who wears question-mark-print suits..." "If I hit up every sperm bank in the tri-county area once a month..." "I just met this guy, Bernie Madoff..."). The county commission and George Burgess's latest plan is to put slot machines in Miami International Airport to cover its rising costs and debt. 

Yesterday the commission approved a measure that would allow the county to apply for a permit, but another vote is needed to obtain a license to operate, according to Miami Today. So the 8-3 vote might be more about keeping the option on the table than committing to the plan. 

Officials point to the $40 million that Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport made off slot machines last year, and wager MIA could garner about $17 million. A significant number of Las Vegas travelers are probably more comfortable with the idea of gambling. But slot machines might be appealing to departing foreign travelers looking to get rid of their remaining American pocket change. 

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


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