Casino Watch Focus has reported many times on the attempts to expand gambling in Florida through additional slot machines. Poll numbers indicate that citizens want the final say before gambling expansion is pushed through the legislature and likewise, legislators have slowed the process down by calling for studies and halting various gambling expansion efforts until after a new compact can be negotiated with the Seminole Tribe, who control most of the gambling and slot machines in Florida. That has not stopped some legislators from attempting to persuade local municipalities to put slot referendums on their ballots in hopes of showing some level of support for gambling expansion. Pinellas County commissioners recognized a last minute push to place slot machine expansion on a ballot and vetoed the attempt. MyFox Tampa Bay reports:
The idea of a November referendum on the people’s preference for casino slot machines at Derby Lane was rebuffed Tuesday by Pinellas County commissioners. Derby Lane vice president Richard Winning was not surprised.
“The suggestion of a few legislators, they said you really should put this on the ballot, so we asked for it,” Winning said after Tueday’s decision. “It was a last-minute thing, late deal, and the reaction was predictable.”
Legislators reportedly think local referendums of support would help them change the state’s gambling compact with the Seminoles.
Commissioner Charlie Justice pointed out the issue was added to the agenda over the weekend, and agreed there were too many unanswered questions on a potentially volatile subject.
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