Voters will have say in future gambling in Florida

Jan 19, 2018 9:17 AM

Florida voters will see an “Amendment 3” on their November ballot allowing them an important say in future gambling in the Sunshine State.

The “Voter Control of Gambling Amendment,” largely bankrolled by a Disney division and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, would require voter approval for any form of casino gambling, an issue now largely controlled by the state Legislature.

All Florida constitutional changes require 60 percent approval from voters to pass. The Florida Supreme Court last year approved the ballot language and state officials said this week that it appears backers have assembled the 766,200 petition signatures required to go before voters.

If approved, the proposal would give voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling” in the state. The change would require voter approval of casino-style games, such as slots, in the future.

Observers predict an expensive campaign costing many millions of dollars. It’s believed the Disney support is based on the company’s desire to protect its family-style attractions in the state. The Seminole’s endorsement is designed to protect their standing as the largest casino operator in Florida, according to industry experts.