Miami Fontainbleau Hotel Owner Soffer Facing Casino Issues, Possible Recession Worries

Miami insiders say Soffer - who's opening a huge new Fontainebleau casino hotel in Las Vegas this fall - is disappointed he can't also have a casino at the legendary Miami original. "The hotel is obviously set up in a way that would be highly conducive to housing a casino," said one source.

In September, the Miami Herald reported, "When Jeffrey Soffer acquired the resort in 2005, he made it clear he sees it as a Vegas outpost in Miami Beach." Although casino gambling is not currently permitted in Miami or Miami Beach, the paper noted that a pro-casino petition filed last year by developers of the nine-block, downtown Miami World Center included provisions for a similar casino at the Fontainebleau.