But the economic stakes are high when it comes to introducing pokie games at the Greyhound Track, a major tourist attraction that features greyhound racing, poker, horse wagering and a year-round calendar of special events. The City of Bonita Springs would be in line to receive a revenue of as much as one million dollars the first year that pokie play is in place, with annual revenues expected to exceed that amount in subsequent years. Many visitors to the Track complain that it is the only major entertainment venue on Florida’s west coast that doesn’t offer pokies. If Governor Scott is successful at brokering a deal to bring pokies to the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, in addition to much needed revenue for city coffers, it would also bring an estimated 500 additional jobs into Lee County.
Although discussions began two years ago, progress on the issue has been agonizingly slow. But the City Manager of Bonita Springs and his colleagues say they have no intention of giving up. They are frustrated that quicker action hasn’t resulted from talks that began initially in 2012, but since government factions are involved, it’s little wonder that it is taking as long as it is. But officials are hopeful that a yes decision on introducing pokie games to the entertainment line-up at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track could come about within 12 months time. Gamblers at the Track who are regular visitors are keeping their fingers crossed and betting that Bonita Spring officials have luck on their side when a final decision regarding the introduction of pokies is made.