Casino Watch Focus reported that the Florida Legislature secured $400,000 to commission a new gambling study. This is a common step in the pro-gambling playbook. The studies tend to only highlight the potential income from a gambling destination, while ignoring all the negative consequences. However, the Orlando Sentinel is now reporting exactly where that money is coming from:
The annual budget for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling is being cut by about $400,000 — which also happens to be the amount the Legislature is appropriating to study the profitability of destination casinos and horse racing in the state.
“The Florida Legislature has made its priorities crystal clear, which is a sad day for the residents of this state,” said council Executive Director Pat Fowler.
This news is exceptionally troubling considering the more gambling expansion in an area, the more compulsive gambling problems increase. The last thing Florida’s citizens need to see is an increase in gambling venues, an increase in problem and compulsive gambling and a DECREASE in those programs designed to help families cope with the devastation gambling brings. The Orlando Sentinel continues:
Said council President Paul Ashe: “Research has definitively concluded, in Florida and elsewhere, that along with gambling expansion is increased prevalence for compulsive gambling. The correlation is very clear and is not disputable.
“It doesn’t take a mental giant to recognize that any expansion of gambling to resort areas will generate increased revenues to the state. The question is at what cost? I am quite confident the gambling industry would be delighted to fund an independent study at their expense, if they have a chance to expand gambling in the state.”