Cocoa Beach moves to ban casino before any are proposed



COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Cocoa Beach is one step closer to prohibiting casinos within city limits.

On Thursday night city leaders voted to move forward with drafting an ordinance that would ban casinos and certain slot machines.

City officials said no one has approached leaders about opening a casino, but officials want to address the issue before someone does.

“If someone wanted to come to Cocoa Beach and build a casino, I don't think that's anything our residents are interested in,” said Mayor Dave Netterstrom.

Resident Dawson Sterling thinks allowing gambling could mean a potential source of revenue for the city and additional jobs, but he sees where there could be a downside, too.

“If something like that comes here, there are a lot of issues that would affect the residents,” said Sterling. “I'm sure some are for it and some against it.”

Netterstrom said he's not out to curtail neighborhood card games and church bingo games.  His concern is about an expansion of gambling like the slot machines recently approved by voters at the Melbourne Greyhound Park.

“Between the gambling boats, the Port, the Paramutiel locations and dog track and so forth, those might be more appropriate to keep gambling,” said Netterstrom.

When asked if the proposed ordinance would address so-called strip mall casinos, officials said that's a issue they would like to first see decided by the state Legislature or the courts.