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Miami-Dade mayor praises legislation outlawing gambling machines


Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Friday lauded Republican state Reps. Carlos Trujillo of Miami and Jimmy Patronis of Panama City for sponsoring Florida House legislation outlawing Internet cafés and gambling machines, known in Spanish as maquinitas.

"I have held a long-standing position against these machines and as a County Commissioner introduced legislation to address this issue, including the creation of an Illegal Gaming Task Force," Gimenez said in a statement. "I believe that 'maquinitas' have been behind the proliferation of illegal gaming operations, which are associated with organized crime. HB-155 makes it clear that these machines are illegal and will deter the continued growth of illegal activities in Miami-Dade County and throughout the State of Florida."

Gimenez proposed the gaming task force while campaigning for mayor in 2011. It has yet to move forward; PolitiFact Florida has rated it a "Promise Broken."

Several months ago, in an effort backed by Gimenez's administration, two county commissioners tried to prohibit the machines, but their proposal did not garner enough support from the dais to make it to a public hearing.