Airport Wants to Hit Jackpot With Slots

The County Commission votes to seek gambling permit for the airport

As if it wasn't enough of a gamble flying out of Miami International Airport, soon you might have to resist slot machines.

That's what county commissioners discussed Tuesday in a move that could potentially increase revenue for the airport  -- and the number of gambling addicts in the area. The commission voted to get the airport a gambling permit before state gambling laws change and make it more cumbersome.

The plan is to install 1,000 slot machines beyond the security checkpoint, when passengers are essentially trapped with nothing to do but watch the clock on the wall and the muted talking heads on the TV screens. With nothing to do for two hours, why not slide a quarter into this glowing, magic noise box and see what happens? Nothing? Well, try another quarter. You've got nothing but time. 

Eventually, all those quarters will add up to about $20 million dollars annually, county officials estimate.

Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess sent a memo to commissioners saying the slot revenues were needed to keep up with the high expense of running an international airport.

How do you explain to your boss you missed that flight to New York because your machine was "hot" and you knew it was going to pay off eventually? Start getting your excuses ready.

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