Panthers Interested in Casino in Sunrise | NBC 6 South Florida

Panthers Interested in Casino in Sunrise

Team meets with Vegas casino operators to discuss resort at arena site

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    The Florida Panthers may soon be blending pucks and ice with cards and dice.

    Officials with the hockey team have taken Las Vegas casino operators on tours of their Sunrise property as they explore building a resort casino on the land bordering the BankAtlantic Center, according to the Miami Herald.

    "As an entertainment company, obviously we’re interested in any future entertainment opportunities in the South Florida marketplace," Michael Yormark, president and chief operating officer of the Panthers, told the Herald.

    Yormark said the team has had conversations with several Vegas operators, and the Sands and MGM Resorts confirmed they looked at the site.

    The move comes as Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff and Representative Erik Fresen introduced bills that would license three mega-resort casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

    Though the land around the arena is owned by Broward County, the Panthers have a long-term lease on the 130-acre property, which includes 90 acres of undeveloped land.

    The team has already cleared the casino idea with the NHL, Yormark said.

    "The league has given us the green light if we choose to pursue this opportunity," he said.

    In October, it was reported that the Miami Dolphins were interested in a similar plan for the area around Sun Life Stadium. The team later issued a statement saying they didn't "have any plans to enter the casino business."