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Destin City Council Suspends Most Forms of Gambling Prior to Florida’s November Ballot

Most types of gambling have unanimously been banned under an ordinance of Destin City Council.

The second, and final, reading of the ordinance was approved by the City Council last week. The ban imposed on most types of gambling activities in the city took effect right after the ordinance was greenlighted. Still, despite the fact that the ordinance is aimed at further boosting the local officials’ standpoint against gambling activities in the city, their decision could be challenged over the upcoming years.

“No gambling in Destin” – Mayor Gary Jarvis

As Destin officials explained in the City Council agenda report, imposing an effective ban on gambling activities within the borders of the city is in the best interest of both the city and its residents. According to the City Council, gambling only takes advantage of the poor citizens and the ones in need. Local officials further noted that the more available different gambling options are to people, the higher gambling addiction rates are registered, not to mention the fact that gambling is also used to facilitate fraud and corruption.

Gambling industries and casino hotels had already been banned in all zoning districts under the land development code of Destin. According to the information released by the City Council at the time when the new ordinance was issued, the latter expands gambling prohibitions, to eventually impose a broader ban on any form of gambling other than state-regulated lotteries and bingo games in the borders of the city.

No public comments have been made on Destin City Council’s ordinance before the local officials had their vote.

Florida Voters to Decide on Amendment 3 in November

The newly-issued ordinance of the Destin City Council means that the city would not take advantage of the recently-opened sports betting industry.

Back in May, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey in the state’s long-lasting legal battle, with its decision lifting the federal ban under which sports betting was suspended in most US states.

Still, sports betting in the state of Florida would need special approval from the local legislature and would have to additionally overcome some other difficulties in order to be officially allowed.

The residents of Florida will be able to decide the fate of sports betting within the state by taking part in the general election ballot set for November 6th. Local voters would have to decide on whether to approve the so-called “Voter Approval of Casino Gambling Initiative”, more widely known as Constitutional Amendment 3.

In case that Florida voters give the nod to the amendment, the addition of any new casino gambling options would require the approval of local citizens, which would effectively bar state’s legislature from making decisions concerning gambling laws. Card and casino games, as well as slot machines, would be affected by the measure as forms of casino gambling. Native American tribal casinos, however, would not be affected by the Amendment 3 should the latter is passed, as these establishments are permitted under special agreements between the state and the Indian tribes.

As Casino Games Pro has already reported, the at least 60% of Florida citizens’ votes would be needed in order for the amendment to be passed.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.