Casino Watch Focus has been reporting on the ongoing battle to introduce 5 destination gambling resorts to Florida through the legislature. Clearly, each attempt has failed this year, so the pro-gambling force is already focused on next years efforts. A classic step in the evolution of gambling expansion is for the interested party to commission a gambling study. These studies are hardly ever free of bias and seem to always show exactly what the group paying for the study wants them to say. They seem to always conveniently leave out the negative effects of gambling, including the direct negative economic impacts, and instead simply shows how much money can be made at each gambling facility. An online source is now reporting that pro-gambling interests in Florida have managed to secure $400,000 for a new gambling study and at least one House sponsor is making no secret about the study’s direction:
Florida legislators are inking their budget deal today that includes cuts to public schools, nursing homes, hospitals and county public health departments but they have found $400,000 for a gaming study of the “revenues derived, the expenses incurred and the potential benefit for Florida from destination resorts and horse racing.”
House sponsor, Rep. Erik Fresen, said he hopes the study will help pave the way for a bill next year. “We hope a $400,000 study will result in the impetus I need to pass this that will result in tens of thousands of dollars to the state in the future,” said Fresen, R-Miami.
Pat Fowler, the director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, spoke out against the measure, saying the study “will ultimately be used as the future justification for expanding gambling through Florida. The roadmap is very clear.”