There could be another big gaming showdown in Miami-Dade Commission Chambers today.
But it’s not about “big gaming” as in casinos and Disney and Genting and all of that mess. It’s a big showdown about little gaming.
It’s about maquinitas.
Yes, those blinking, twirling, beeping cash vacuums that have proliferated like acne — or something on a lower part of the body — all over Hialeah and Miami and is even reaching into the pristine areas of, gasp, Kendall.
Commissioners Sally Heyman and Juan Zapata are introducing an ordinance this morning that would ban what everyone outside Hialeah knows are gambling devices. Only in Hialeah, do police and public officials consider them family entertainment.
That’s why we may expect Hialeah Mayor Carlos “Castro” Hernandez to show up at the meeting Wednesday to cry about this rule. After all, his city — and his political campaigns — get thousands of dollars in revenue from the questionably shady industry with mob ties. And this is an election year! I can hear him now: “What do you expect me to dooooo?”
Hernandez has reportedly already been lobbying commissioners, calling to ask them to allow municipalities to opt out of the ban. Say what? Can I do that with laws Ladra disagrees with? Just call up and say, “Hey, I know the speed limit is 55 for everybody else, but not for me, okay? Just carve me out of this one.”
Don’t do it, commissioners. Do not allow Hialeah or any other city carve themselves out of having to comply with this necessary legislation. I mean, especially Hialeah. Have you been to a coin laundry in the City of Progress lately? There are more maquinitas than dryers.
Ladra is asking Heyman and Zapata and the rest to stand their ground Wednesday and not let Hernandez — no matter how buddy-buddy he is with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos “Not So Goldenboy” Gimenez— tilt you on this.
Though, come to think of it, I’m sure Hernandez will not be the only one crying no fair. After all, there are elections in the city of Miami this year also.