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Miami city commission: confiscate gambling 'maquinitas'

A week after Miami’s mayor called the video-gaming machines he once championed “illegal,’’ city commissioners directed the administration to arrange the seizure of the 1,000 or so machines scattered across cafeterias and video arcades.

Commissioners, riding an anti-gaming wave flowing through the state legislature — which is set on making the machines illegal — said the devices are out of compliance because not a single operating permit mandated by a 2010 city ordinance has been purchased.

The elected body unanimously told City Manager Johnny Martinez to seize the machines, and urged state legislators to finally declare them illegal.

“I don’t think you can make an argument; they either have a [permit], or they don’t,’’ said Commissioner Francis Suarez, who sponsored the resolution.

Martinez said he will direct police, not code enforcement officers, to confiscate the machines because some of the seizures are likely to be accompanied by arrests. He could not provide a timetable.

More from Charles Rabin here.