Casino Watch has reported on the ongoing efforts by those hoping to expand gambling in Florida. Most of those efforts have been unsuccessful and now that an election nears, legislative hopefuls should pay close attention to the results of a recent poll. The Tampa Bay Times provides access to the press release that explains that voters don’t want the legislature passing pro-gambling bills and they favor a Constitutional Amendment to require statewide support prior to expansion:
Any discussion of expanded gambling, or limited gambling, may be on hold until after the election but a new poll out by No Casinos says legislators should keep voters in mind before making any commitments. Here’s the press release:
Florida voters don’t want elected officials who represent them to support more gambling in the state, and they heavily favor a Constitutional Amendment that would require voters statewide to have the final say on whether or not a form of gambling is legal in Florida. The poll of 604 likely voters was conducted by Hill Research Consultants, and is part of a candidate pledge package being sent by NoCasinos.org to all candidates running for the Florida Legislature.
“It is good public policy and smart politics to be against the expansion of gambling in Florida,” said NoCasinos.org President John Sowinski. “Floridians don’t want their elected officials to legalize more gambling, and Florida voters want to have the final say on this issue through a statewide vote of the people.” The poll consistently showed strong bi-partisan consensus on these issues.
The highlights of the polling are as follows: 73% of Florida voters support a proposed Constitutional Amendment requiring a statewide voter initiative for authorization of any form of gambling.
Voters are overwhelmingly less like likely to vote for candidates for office who either:
Support expanding gambling in Florida
Support expanding gambling without a statewide vote of the people
Support proposals to allow slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities
75% disagree with the statement that more gambling will improve our quality of life.
By a 63% to 28% margin, voters want gambling laws fixed before the legislature discusses any future expansion.
Voters think the creation of a new regulatory agency for gambling is more likely to expand gambling industry influence than reduce it.
Voters prefer that gambling issues be determined by statewide referenda, not local votes.
Voters overwhelmingly oppose the legislature granting new forms of gambling to pari-mutuel facilities.
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