Florida’s Gambling Industry Pours $1.25 Million in September to Fight Amendment 3

Florida’s gambling industry has stepped up efforts to fight an amendment that will be voted on the November 6 ballot and that, if approved, will give state residents the authority to decide whether there should be any form of casino gambling expansion on the territory of Florida.

According to a newly submitted finance report, representatives of the state’s gambling industry contributed the amount of $1.25 million to the Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 Inc. political committee in the period between September 4-7. The committee was established this past July to put efforts into fighting the so-called Amendment 3 that is set to appear on the November 6 ballot.

Generally speaking, the aforementioned measure aims to give Florida voters the right to decide on whether casino gambling should be authorized under Florida law. If approved in November by a 60% majority of voters, the proposed amendment would change the state Constitution, under which it is now up to lawmakers to determine whether more gambling businesses should be allowed to operate anywhere in Florida. If the Amendment 3 measure takes effect, any gambling expansion proposals will have to be approved by 60% of all voters.

According to the latest finance report, Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International and Jacksonville Greyhound Racing Inc. each poured $500,000 into the Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 initiative from September 4-7. In addition, the South Florida Racing Association contributed the amount of $250,000. Figures show that the committee has raised more than $3.5 million since its establishment in July.

Disney and Seminole Tribe Biggest Sponsors of Amendment 3

It is important to note that Florida’s gambling industry has two huge opponents in its fight against Amendment 3. Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which operates seven casinos across the state, have so far poured $26 million of the total amount of $27 million raised for the promotion of the proposed measure.

It also should be pointed out that both Disney and the Seminoles have no interest in any form of expansion of gambling in the state due to competition concerns. The tribe currently holds the monopoly over casino gambling and certainly wants to keep that monopoly for as long as possible. As for Disney, it does not operate any gambling establishments, but it is a huge stakeholder in the state’s entertainment industry. Any form of gambling expansion will certainly concern the entertainment conglomerate, hence its support for Amendment 3.

According to a recently conducted poll, commissioned by Voters in Charge, the organization behind Amendment 3, 71% of Florida’s likely voters would support the proposed measure during the upcoming General Election in November. Analysts believe that the amendment has a big chance to pass because it is pretty straightforward and easy to understand and gives Florida residents back the authority to decide on gambling-related matters.

Following the original legalization of gambling in the state in the early 1990s, it had been up to voters to decide on gambling expansion matters. It has actually been only recently when lawmakers assumed full authority over such matters.

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