Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida each contributed this month $5 million into an anti-casino expansion measure that is to be voted during the upcoming November 6 mid-term election and that, if approved, will give Florida voters full control over the future of the state’s gambling industry.
According to freshly filed campaign reports, the major entertainment corporation and the Florida-based tribe, which operates several casinos around the state, have each donated the amount of $5 million to Voters in Charge in September.
Voters in Charge is the organization that spearheaded Amendment 3, the proposed constitutional amendment that aims to give Florida residents the ultimate authority to decide whether more casinos and other gambling operations should be introduced within the state’s borders. That authority currently belongs to the Legislature. If Amendment 3 gains the necessary support of a 60% majority of voters at the November 6 ballot, it will modify the state Constitution in a manner that would require any proposed changes in the Florida gambling landscape to be approved by a 60% majority of voters before being enforced by lawmakers.
Casino gambling expansion matters have been discussed on multiple occasions by state legislators over the past several years. Several bills dealing with the topic have been introduced, some of which suggesting sweeping reforms in the current landscape. However, they have all failed due to conflicting attitudes towards gambling expansion in the Legislature’s lower and upper legislative chambers.
Disney and the Seminoles – the Main Sponsors of Amendment 3
Disney and the Seminole Tribe have been quite vocal about their support for Amendment 3. One of them a major international entertainment corporation and the other an owner of a massive international casino and hospitality business, they have been pouring millions of dollars since the Voters in Charge campaign was established to promote the proposed measure and seek support from voters around the state.
According to campaign filings, Disney has so far donated $19.7 million to the cause, while the Seminoles have contributed the amount of $16.8 million. As the November 6 voted approaches, they would probably ramp up their efforts and spending even further.
Both Disney and the Seminoles, who hold the exclusive right to operate full-fledged Las Vegas-style casino gambling in Florida, will not benefit from any form of casino expansion anywhere in the state, which explains their staunch support for the Voters in Charge effort.
It is to be seen whether the proposed measure would gain the necessary support from a majority of voters, but several Voters in Charge-commissioned polls have shown that the majority of likely voters will cast a ‘Yes’ vote on November 6, meaning that they would support Amendment 3 and would like to be granted the authority over gambling expansion-related decisions.
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