The month of November is eyed by practically everyone across the states as an opportunity for crucial changes to be made. Such is the state of Florida and its Amendment 3, set to be voted next month. This Thursday saw a specifically dedicated forum overseen by the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce where both supporters and opposers of the Amendment voiced their opinion.
The first days of next month are crucial for Amendment 3. Depending on the answers given by voters in November this question could give the community the power to permit casino expansion across the state. Voters would have the sole right to approve or deny further actions excluding the legislature from the process, if as much as 60 percent of them give it a nod.
Organizations warn that the wording of the amendment aims to confuse voters, which is why conversation about it is crucial.
Community Gives Input on the Amendment
Thursday saw the community express its own point of view regarding the amendment as a positive change, and a change which would have a negative impact on Florida’s gambling situation. Those in support of the ballot issue pointed out that Tallahassee is currently eyed by all casino operators and developers, as they are anticipating their opportunity to propose a winning bid for a casino license.
The amendment would open the field for more competition an the introduction of more companies to the region, instead of limiting the field to the current tribal operation. However, this issue should be decided by people across the state, as they would be directly affected by expansion of the field. Hence, according to John Sowinski, President of Voters in Charge, the amendment should receive green light following the ballot on 6th November.
Disney, Seminole Tribe add $10M to campaign to limit gambling
Proposed amendment says only voters can approve new casinos—VOTE YES AMENDMENT 3 … LET'S KEEP THE GROWTH OF JOBS AND MORE TAX DOLLARS FOR FLORIDA… https://t.co/xWPZxBqEDM
— Steve Di Sano (@steve_sano) September 30, 2018
The organization is supported and profusely funded by large corporations to the liking of Disney, No Casinos, Inc. (headed by Mr. Sowinsky), and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, reaching the figure of $37.5 million. Voters in Charge has the support of more than 1.1 million local voters who signed various petitions. As explained by Mr. Sowinski, the Committee also managed to make strong progress in other major campaign activities, including an increased presence on the social media, etc.
Potential Effect of Amendment 3
The Indian Tribe, on the other hand, currently operates a number of casinos but has taken the possible expansion as a threat for its existing operations, as it could expand gambling at so-called pari-mutuel facilities. In the meantime, individuals strongly opposing the proposed amendment stated that operating card rooms and race courses across the state would be negatively affected by the introduction of new venues.
They think it would be best if lawmakers have the sole authority to make such decision while keeping voters’ best interest at heart. Another thing which should be taken into account is the fact that the state is well-known for its family-friendly offerings.
Maintaining this reputation is more than important for state lawmakers and the introduction of gambling might affect it negatively. Even though the amendment might appear to be empowering the masses, it could end up benefiting only the big businesses with enough resources to canvass signatures across the state.
The pari-mutuel industry projects that the educational system would lose some $250 million over the following 10 years, as the devices generating revenue would not be in operation. Mr. Sowinski clarified that existing operation would not be affected, but instead field development would be hindered until voters say otherwise.