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'Bu11sh!t' and 6 other key moments in the failed Florida casino push

Colin Au paced the polished marble floors of Miami’s fanciest hotel, waiting for the go-ahead to jumpstart a lavish development plan already on a fast track.

Au and his fellow Genting executives had stunned the city five months earlier on a May morning by announcing the Malaysian casino company’s purchase of The Miami Herald headquarters and plans to build a massive “destination resort” there. Genting promised a resort so spectacular and grand that it would lure vacationers from around the world, with or without a change in Florida’s gambling laws to allow a casino.

That was the plan, and now that plan was about to change dramatically. Minutes before a ballroom reception at the Four Seasons Miami, Genting Chairman K.T. Lim arrived with the news he had just signed a $161 million deal to gain control of the Omni complex adjoining The Miami Herald land. Genting promised to open a casino there within six months of Florida changing its laws.

“We are taking a calculated risk,” Au said just before unveiling his plan to a crowd of local business leaders and elected officials. “We are responding to the concerns and trying to create jobs as fast as possible. The Omni is what’s called a decorator-ready solution.”

But the effort was beset by certain political realities and at least one key message foul-up by Au, who repeatedly called some criticisms "bullshit" during a Florida Senate committee.

Story here

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/11/v-fullstory/2650674/casinos-at-the-crossroads-7-key.html#storylink=cpy


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harry houdini

Genting was taken for "a ride." The casino bill was no more than a well planned lobbyist retirement plan. The lobbyists will string Genting and others along for at least another year. Too bad Genting, despite all its resources, can't recognize a "sham" when they see it!

Jon Steven

The special interest groups helped to stall the casino legislation but the people will eventually approve gaming without political interference. All the polls indicate people want the casinos - but Disney and the Indians don't want to lose their monopoly on gaming and destination resorts in Florida.


We are all disappointed that Florida will have to wait to achieve economic recovery thanks to the do nothing legislators, no wait . . . they did do something, they took obscene amounts of bribe money. They will be fired at election time. Perhaps they can get new jobs after the destination resorts open but with the amount of money they absorbed in this legislative session, they might retire. Meanwhile, their constituents can just suffer.

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