The Florida Seminole Tribe is to provide its support for an anti-gambling legislation amendment on the upcoming year’s ballot.
According to campaign finance records which have been recently filed, the Seminole Tribe of the state provided the group Voters in Charge with $1 million in October. The funding is to be used to back the group’s campaign which aims a constitutional amendment to be passed over the next year by local residents. Under such an amendment, the establishment of new casinos in the state would need the approval of the state’s voters.
A total of 766,200 valid signatures are needed by the Voters in Charge in order for a ballot to be made. To date, 391,783 petition signatures have been verified by the officials.
The Seminole Tribe already operates a number of casinos across the state. The Tribe also has an agreement with the state, allowing them to offer certain types of gambling activities, including the game of blackjack. Over the past few years, however, legislators have been considering to provide other casinos in the state with the same exclusivity rights.
Disney Worldwide Services has also given its support for the proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder to expand gambling across the state of Florida. According to a newly-filed finance report, Disney has donated approximately $3 million to back the proposed measure.
Anti-Casino Amendment Measures
As Casino Guardian has reported earlier, the Florida’s Supreme Court has already given the green light to the ballot placement amendment required by the Voters in Charge Committee. At the time when the decision was made, two of the Justices expressed their disagreement and shared their belief that the Committee had not made it absolutely clear to the public that the proposed legislative amendment could have a serious impact on slot machines.
As of October 31st, the committee had raised a total of $4.1 million as financial back-up to the proposed constitutional amendment, while the reported amount spent is estimated to approximately $3.44 million. If successful, the initiative could change the Constitution of the state and provide local voters with the exclusive right to make decisions related to casino gambling authorization in Florida.
As mentioned above, such an amendment would require the approval of local voters for casino-style games to be allowed in the state in the future. The Chairman of Voters in Charge John Sowinski said in a statement released on Monday that the committee is focused on turning the local voters, rather than politicians, into the state’s “ultimate authority” to make gambling decisions in the state of Florida.
Mr. Sowinski further explained that Voters in Charge remain focused on completing their petition drive by the end of 2017. After that, the organization plans to become more focused on building voter support for the amendment by unveiling a massive campaign across the state.