The saga in Florida continues. Casino Watch Focus has been reporting on the state of the gambling compact with the Seminole Indians and most recently reported that the compact had been voted down in legislative committee. Now it appears that Florida is considering full scale commercial gambling as a means to balance its budget. The Orlando Sentinel reports:
Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, who strongly opposed the expansion of slots in South Florida, now says that since gambling is everywhere in Florida, she supports a “free market” approach. She is pitching a “Gaming Equalization Act” to lure a half-dozen gambling executives to build beachside hotel-casinos.
One of the Legislature’s staunchest conservatives, Rep. Alan Hays, says he wants the state to get into the gambling business directly by owning casinos and hiring private operators, similar to the state Lottery.
An online source is reporting that one Vegas investor is willing to spend $3 billion to develop a lavish casino resort and thinks Florida is just the place:
Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire global resort developer and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE:LVS), tells The Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times he is ready to invest up to $3 billion in a resort casino Adelson said his project would resemble a mega convention center housing malls, theaters, spas, hotels, restaurants and casinos. “We’re not interested in putting up slot parlors or a gambling den,” the entrepreneur told the newspaper. “We want destinations and integrated resorts.”
It is still early in the process but groups are already speaking out. Citizen Link reported:
John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, said it would negatively affect the state’s image and is the wrong way to finance the future. “It’s unstable,” he said. “It’s economically destructive. It has enormous social consequences: Divorces, suicide, crime, increased addictions and bankruptcies. It’s just a bad deal.”
Let your Lawmakers know that you are not in favor of building of a 3 billion dollar casino that will bring in some tax dollars in exchange for making losers of the people. Florida is full of seniors who will be great candidates for over the top addiction. Lawmakers who vote to encourage this kind of harm have forgotten what it means to be a servant of the people in Tallahassee. In effect they will let thousands of families experience certain ruin in exchange for their cut of casino win. That’s what the people of FL have to look forward to if action is not taken.