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Miami-Dade commissioner seeks review of industry allied with mayoral rival

Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez wants to form a task force to examine the proliferation of “illegal” video gaming machines in the county — taking aim at a cottage industry allied with Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, Gimenez’s opponent in the race for county mayor.

Gimenez has drafted legislation that would create a task force of federal and local law enforcement agencies to examine video amusement machines — which can be easily used for illegal gambling, critics say — and suggest potential reforms. The issue has already sparked a political rift in the city of Miami, where Mayor Tomás Regalado pushed through an ordinance easing enforcement of the machines, over the objections of the city’s police chief.a

But Gimenez’s plan is sure to cast a spotlight on Robaina, who also pushed through a law in Hialeah allowing the use of gaming machines as long as they are registered with the city — and if they are not used for gambling. Robaina’s campaign and political committee received at least $4,500 from gaming interests since 2009, records show.

Full story from Scott Hiaasen here.