No Casinos Group Points Out Problems & Bias of Chamber Poll Regarding Seminole Gambling Compact

Casino Watch Focus has reported that Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Seminole tribal authorities come to a new $3 billion gambling deal late last month.  The deal still needs to be debated in the Florida legislature and there are those believe it’s a bad deal for Florida due to the gambling expansion in represents.  In an effort to start swaying the elected leaders that must vote to approve the compact, the Florida Chamber, whose members include the Seminole, Tribe, released the results of a statewide poll regarding citizen’s approval of the compact.  As the Tampa Bay times, the poll seemed to indicate it was clear people didn’t really even understand what was included in the Seminole Compact: 

The chamber won’t tell us if it’s a poll for hire but the press release accompanying the poll emphasized the fact that those who know about the compact support it. One thing is certain: most people know nothing about the gaming compact. At least 51 percent didn’t know if the tribe had kept its agreement “to provide a minimum of $1 billion over five years in revenue to the state” and 63 percent knew nothing about the 20-year deal Scott just signed with the tribe, according to the poll by Public Opinion Strategies.

This was only one of the problems with the poll.  A closer examination was had by John Sowinski, the President of No Casinos, and several glaring issues were brought to light.  Florida Politics online explains:

No Casinos President *John Sowinski* said that “missing from the survey was any hint of how the (Seminole) Compact allows for the massive expansion of gambling throughout Florida — beyond tribal property, including new nontribal casinos in Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County.”

“The poll did not ask voters how they felt about expansions of gambling that the compact would allow throughout Florida, including introduction of slot machines outside of tribal properties,” Sowinski wrote in an email. “But what the poll did find is that 72 percent of Floridians don’t want gambling expanded, which is exactly what the proposed compact does.”

He also questioned the bias of the pollster, Public Opinion Strategies, saying that company also “is the pollster of record for the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” citing “multiple media reports.”

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