Floridians Support Expanded Gaming

The state legislative session may have just come to an end but next week the battle over the new Seminole Compact will begin. The special legislative session starts on Monday to consider four key pieces of legislation aimed at ratifying the deal Governor DeSantis recently signed with the Seminole Tribe. Already the ads for and against are on the air. The opposition is led by No Casinos, the group which spearheaded 2018’s Amendment 3. Also known as the group that confused many Floridians into voting for an amendment that made it more difficult to expand gaming in Florida. Based on the latest surveying of Floridians they have an uphill battle in changing public perception. 

The first polling on the new Seminole Compact with the inclusion of sports gaming shows it’s highly favored across Florida. According to the survey by the Tyson Group, 62% of Floridians are in favor of the new compact with only 17% opposed. What’s more, is that the pollster found that the more informed Floridians were about the compact the more likely they were to support it, meaning that even most of those lacking an opinion are likely to break in favor of it once they know what it’s about. 

There are few contentious issues that have such apparent broad support across the political spectrum as this one. This data also shows the flaw with Florida’s current Amendment process as it’s increasingly evident most Floridians who voted for 2018’s Amendment 3 didn’t understand what they were voting for. And if the new compact doesn’t come to pass that Amendment is the most likely reason why. 

In speaking recently with state senator Joe Gruters, he essentially said they have the votes they need to pass the legislation in next week’s special session. The question is whether it will withstand a legal challenge citing Amendment 3 which is sure to be fired off by No Casinos once signed into law. If all else fails, there’s more than enough support currently to have a new constitutional amendment that would eliminate 2018’s constitutional amendment. But of course, that wouldn’t be an option until next year, and what a mess it would be. The issue is about to be in the hands of the legislature, but the key is held by the courts. 

Photo by: Getty Images

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