Casino News

Florida Advances Constitutional Amendment on Gambling

Florida Politics reported that the majority of Florida voters voted in favor of a proposed state constitutional amendment on gambling. According to poll results publicized this Thursday, 76% of the voters said “yes” to the proposed constitutional amendment, that is to allow locals to have their say on casino gambling industry. Under the suggested amendments, the voters will decide if casino gambling will be authorized throughout the state. The proposed constitutional amendment will appear on the November ballot as “Amendment 3”.

Florida voters could finally participate in the decision-making process when it comes to casino gambling. The proposed constitutional amendment “would require voter approval to authorize casino gambling in the state”. The amendment, which is also known as “Voter Control of Gambling Amendment” is backed up by Disney company and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Disney Worldwide Services contributed $4.35 million and the Seminoles paid $1.3 million to support the Sowinski’s committee.

Last year, Florida lawmakers approved to include the gambling question on the November ballot. It is important to note that all constitutional amendments require 60% approval from the voters to pass. John Sowinski, chairman of the Voters in Charge political committee behind the amendment, explained that the proponents and opponents of the amendment are to invest millions of dollars to convince voters to share their respective point of view regarding the proposal.

The Constitutional Amendment is Likely to Pass

According to a press release, 76% of the voters initially supported the constitutional amendment and only 19% opposed it. Following a full presentation of arguments supporting both sides, the support for the measure reached 84%. Mr. Sowinski commented that the results should not surprise anyone, as people seek to regain control over the future of gambling expansion in Florida, which is currently in the hands of the electorate.

The survey was conducted by Hill Research Consultants. A total of 1,235 people, who are likely to vote in Florida’s November general election were interviewed. By adding that question to the November ballot, the lawmakers make sure that more people will vote in the upcoming election.

Earlier this week, Senate President-designate Bill Galvano announced that the state is considering certain changes to the gambling industry in Florida, so that the state is ready to compensate for potential revenue losses.

If the proposed constitutional amendment passes, the Legislature fear that it will lose the control over the future of the gambling expansion in Florida. Last year, the Seminole Tribe has agreed to continue monthly revenue sharing payments to the state in return for the state’s approval to agree with a judge’s ruling that allows it to continue to operate blackjack and other banked card games at its casinos. The deal expires in 2030.