Industry Reports

Another Political Committee Registered in Florida to Oppose Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3

One more political committee has been registered to support a state constitutional amendment that requires local voters’ approval of gambling expansion in Florida.

According to the Division of Elections records, Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 was registered on July 18th, 2018. The committee is currently chaired by Dan Adkins, who have long headed the former Mardi Gras Casino and Racetrack in Hallandale Beach.

The so-called Amendment 3, which has previously been supported by Disney Worldwide Services Inc. and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, is focused on putting some limits to the state’s gambling expansion. As revealed in the ballot summary, the proposed changes would make sure that local voters would be given the exclusive right to make decisions on the fate of casino gambling in Florida.

Last week, another committee called “Vote NO on 3” chaired by Isadore Havenick was registered. Havenick, whose family currently runs Miami-based Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs-based Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Racing & Poker, shared that Amendment 3 comes to show local citizens’ concern that someone was trying to leave them “out of business”.

Seminole Tribe and Disney Worldwide Services Oppose the Casino Expansion

Still, Amendment 3 has its proponents, too. As mentioned above, for some time now, the constitutional gambling amendment in the state of Florida has been backed both by the state’s Seminole Tribe and Disney Worldwide Services.

Over the last few months, the political committee Voters in Charge, which has been leading the campaign for more than a year now, got a substantial financial support which is being used on the campaign to encourage Florida voters to back Amendment 3 by voting “yes” on the November ballot.

The proposed changed in the local constitution would allow Florida voters to make decisions on the fate of new casinos across the state over the years to come. The measure would have to be backed by no less than 60% of the votes of local residents in order to be turned into law. Until now, it was the state legislators who had been the only ones to decide on the fate of new casinos in Florida. If the proposed amendment is turned into law, casino-style games would require voter approval in the future, which basically means that the power of the state’s Governor and Legislature to make gambling-related decisions would be effectively reduced.

The expansion of casino gambling in the state of Florida has long been opposed by some local players. The local Seminole Tribe, which currently operates several casinos, has taken the possible gambling expansion to a threat for its already existing operations, as its members believe that new casinos in the state could “steal” the Tribe gambling facilities’ customers. As mentioned above, the expansion of casino gambling has been opposed by Disney Worldwide Services, which have cited a possible increase in problem gambling rates in the state.