Florida regulators have approved Wind Creek’s purchase of Miami casino

Florida regulators have approved Wind Creek’s purchase of Miami casino

wind_creek_overcomes_hurdle_to_buy_miamis_magic_city_casinoWind Creek Hospitality has overcome one of its biggest hurdles and has initial clearance to add Miami’s Magic City Casino to its expanding roster of gaming venues. The PCI (Poarch Creek Indian) Gaming subsidiary will operate the license through Gretna Racing, LLC.

Magic City is a local fixture grown from a parimutuel racetrack and owned by the Havenick family since the 1930s. Havenick’s West Flagler Associates (WFA) is the legal entity offering the property up for sale.

In early December, the Florida Gaming Control Commission put approval of the transfer of assets and license on the back burner so more information about the deal could be given to the public before making a decision.

Transfer was not without Opposition

Opposition came from a perennial anti-casino organization in Florida. Legal counsel for a major gaming tribe in Florida had also asked commissioners to move forward with caution. However, Magic City representatives noted that 3rd party interventional would not be lawful.

At the time. Commissioners noted there was nothing objectionable in the highly redacted application but that it may not meet the standards of Florida’s sunshine laws.

Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chair & CEO of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians said: “We are excited to grow our footprint in another major metropolitan area, this time in Miami, Florida.

“Our expansions in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and now Florida provide us the ability to take care of and grow opportunities for our Tribe. We look forward to becoming a valued partner in the Miami community.”

Bryan’s references to Pennsylvania and Illinois included the former Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania which the firm purchased for $1.3b in 2019 before rebranding – and Wind Creek Chicago Southland, an under-construction 70,000 sq ft casino featuring 1,350 slot machines, 56 table games, entertainment, dining, and a 250+ room hotel,

Jay Dorris, CEO and President of Wind Creek added: “Southern Florida is a natural connection from our properties in Aruba & Curacao, our properties in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

“With close proximity to Miami International Airport, the location is fantastic for players from all Wind Creek properties, and gives Miami locals an easy way to experience the Wind Creek brand everywhere we operate,” Dorris noted.

A New and Vibrant Market

While stating that the purchase added to its footprint in a “new and vibrant market” they also said that no major changes should be expected at the Miami property in the immediate future, but migration to the operator’s rewards and loyalty programs should be completed before the end of the year.

Wind Creek Hospitality manages the Tribe’s gaming facilities. The list includes Wind Creek Aruba, Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Curacao, Wind Creek Montgomery, Wind Creek Wetumpka, Wa She Shu Casino in Nevada, as well as a racetrack in Alabama, a card room in Pensacola, and a barrel racing track with a card room in Gretna.

The company’s virtual casino is called Casinoverse. Developer Hyper Luminal describes it as “an interactable game world which brings the excitement and joy of Wind Creek casinos right to your pocket.”


Author: Henry Brown