Fla. appeal court holding slot machine hearing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A circuit judge's ruling saying that lawmakers can allow slot machines anywhere in Florida is being appealed.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal was set Wednesday to hear oral argument in the case in Tallahassee.

If the ruling stands it could open the door to casino resorts in Florida.

Circuit Judge James Shelfer made the decision last year, also in Tallahassee, when he dismissed part of a lawsuit challenging slot machines at Hialeah Park.

Competing horse and dog tracks filed the suit and now are appealing.

They argue slot machines are limited to pari-mutuel facilities already up and running in South Florida in 2004.

That's when voters approved a slot machine amendment to the Florida Constitution.

Hialeah was dormant for eight years before reopening in 2009.

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