Casino Watch Focus reported that a diverse group of individuals and groups were standing strong in their opposition to the Destination Casinos bill introduced by Senator Ellyn Bogandoff. The more mainstream groups that oppose expanded gambling include Disney, The Florida Chamber of Commerce, The Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, and The Florida Attractions Association.
Joining them is a coalition anti-gambling groups such as the No Casino, the Florida Baptist Convention, the Florida Catholic Conference, Florida Casino Watch and Florida Family Action. The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling not only provided the statistics for current gambling issues, but they also went as far as to say that the state’s policymakers shouldn’t expand gambling until it gets its house in order. If that collective opposition wasn’t representative enough of those in Florida, now all three of the Florida Cabinet members have come out against these Vegas-style destination casinos. The Palm Beach Post reports:
Attorney General Pam Bondi and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam joined forces Thursday with a coalition of law enforcement officers, social conservatives and business lobbyists determined to kill a proposal to allow three more casinos in Florida.
The pair are the state’s highest-ranking GOP officials to publicly oppose the “destination resorts” bill now working its way through the state legislature. A spokeswoman for Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, the third member of the Florida Cabinet and also a Republican, said later that he opposes the measure, too.
That leaves Gov. Rick Scott as the only executive wild card. Scott has not taken a firm stance on the measures (SB 710, HB 487), although he has repeatedly said he does not want the state to become dependent on revenues generated by the casinos. He also has said he doesn’t want a casino going into a county unless voters there approve first.
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