Gambling Expansion Ballot in Florida Runs into Difficulties

Several states in the US will have elections in November this year. These elections will cover a wide variety of topics, but gambling is definitely the one that most of them are going to focus on. A key battleground for this issue will be Florida. A lot of things have been happening there for quite a while, which also means that a lot of money is invested in the outcome. In short, there are two sides: one which wants a major change regarding gambling to take place, and one that doesn’t want that.


The current set up allows state lawmakers to decide whether a gambling operation in Florida will be approved or not. However, in November the voters will be faced with the issue of Amendment 3, which could change the current structure dramatically.  If Amendment 3 passes, the decision on whether a gambling operation should be approved will be the responsibility of Florida residents rather than lawmakers.

The amendment is supported by big names such as Disney Worldwide Services and the Seminole Tribe, which has Hard Rock casinos in Florida. They invested as much as $36 million in order to support the amendment and create a lobby group called Voters In Charge. So why would Disney and Hard Rock want to support this? Well, if the decision remains with the lawmakers that means a lot of new casinos could open in Florida really soon. This is not good for the business of Disney or Hard Rock casinos which are currently very popular and have a sort of monopoly on gambling in Florida.

However, despite all of their efforts to change this, it seems that nothing has been achieved so far. According to the most recent polls, only 54% of the population supports Amendment 3, while the rest is strictly opposed. However, for the Amendment to pass, it is required that at least 60% of the people support it. There is still a slight chance, though. Some of the people who were a part of the poll were not really concerned with the matter. If 18% of the undecided citizens decide to vote, they could b enough to affect the outcome of the ballot.

If nothing changes, Disney and Hard Rock would lose a lot of money for nothing. This is the reason why they increased their efforts and included a lot of promotions, including a TV commercial.

The opposition to the Seminoles and Disney has a much lower budget. The organization that is dominant in their ranks is called Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3, and they managed to attract only $6 million dollars. There is another group of citizens who are fighting against Disney and Seminoles. They only managed to receive roughly $980 thousand in support for the campaign.

Nevertheless, the results are uncertain. If those opposing Amendment 3 win, it means that Disney and the Seminole Tribe are going to face the decline of their gambling empire.

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