People in Gretna, Fla. are anxiously waiting for Jan. 31, when their voice will be heard as they go to vote for slot machine approvals at Gretna Horsetrack Facility, now they wait for the results.
Currently only horse barreling and poker are available for gamblers. The passing of the referendum could bring an estimated 1,500 new jobs in Gadsden County and will expand the current gambling parameters.
If passed through referendum the vote will give the casino a leg up when presenting the case to state legislatures by showing that the people in the community really want it, states Caitlin M. Dingle, marketing manager of Creek Entertainment in Gretna, Fla.
There was been a lot of controversy in the community over the issue of allowing slot machines at the casino in Gretna. Dingle explains, “With casino’s you are going to have certain people who are opposed to the idea of having one in the community because everyone has different views on gambling.”
“The casino will impact the community in a positive way by supporting families and offering a place for people to work,” said Dingle.
Rep. Alan Williams stated that there is currently a bill going through process that will focus on bringing Vegas style casinos to Miami-Dade and Broward County only.
“Right now we have pari-mutual facilities in Florida that have certain levels of Vegas style slot machines but don’t have Vegas style casinos,” said Williams
The bill is causing controversy from gamblers because it would allow at least three destination resort hotels to have full size Vegas-style casinos. This would be the state’s first craps and roulette games. Various casino companies have expressed interest in operating and owing this type of resort hotel.
“Some people are anti-gaming supporters, which means some people don’t want gambling in the community because it might bring a certain crime element to the community,” said Williams. “On the other hand, some people support it because it brings jobs and economic development.”
Williams has held many individual meetings in the community to access public opinions, but he is not supporting or opposing it.
“It’s up to the people,” Williams explained.
Sonja Pruitt, head cashier at the Circle K in Gretna, Fla., said the opening of the Creek Entertainment Facility, which was in mid-December, has already brought more customers to the gas station, and it isn’t even fully established yet.
“Gretna is an everyday, around the way kind of town that can turn positive if jobs keep opening up for people,” said Pruitt.
Currently the casino has employed over 100 Gadsden County residents.
There hasn’t been any proposed bill’s for Tallahassee on the issue.
For more information visit www.creekentertainment.com.