Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to help ensure the people of Florida have the ability to directly impact gambling expansion. Recent efforts have centered around a ballot initiative that would amend the constitution to require a vote of the people before any gambling expansion legislation can be pushed forward by the legislature. Voters in Charge, the group responsible for the petition, have secured the signatures to keep the process moving forward the bill is not before the Florida Supreme Court to ensure it meets the proper requirements. As the process moves forward, its important to know how well the amendment would do on the ballot, and a new poll aims to answer that questions. The poll results, released by No Casinos and conducted by Hill Research Consultants, was outlined by Orlando Politics Online:
– 69% support a referendum requiring voter approval of all gambling expansion decisions. Such a referendum, the Voter Control of Gambling Amendment, currently is before the Florida Supreme Court for placement on the 2018 ballot. Only 21% oppose it.
– 83% believe that Florida voters should decide gambling policy in Florida. By comparison, 7% believe the Florida Legislature should decide, 3% believe the Governor should decide and 3% believe the courts should decide.
– 72% indicated they would be less likely to support a political candidate who supports expanded gambling in Florida without a statewide vote. By contrast, 18% are more likely to support such a candidate and 6% say it makes no difference.
– 75% disagree that more gambling in their city will improve the quality of life for them or their families, while 18% believe more gambling improves their quality of life.
The poll was directed at actual Florida voters who voted in recent elections. The margin for error was under four percent, so the implications are pretty clear. No Casino’s President, John Sowinski, summarized:
“The will of the voters could not be clearer,’’ said John Sowinski, President of No Casinos. “Regardless of political party, Floridians overwhelmingly want a say in whether gambling will be expanded in our state. They understand the negative social and economic consequences. This is why the gaming industry continually tries to circumvent public opinion, hiring lobbyists and lawyers to push their agenda of more and more gambling in the Legislature and courts. Elected officials should take heed — it is not only good public policy, it is also smart politics to reject expanding gambling in Florida.”
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