What’s The Angst Over Florida Amendment 3
The State of Florida will serve as an important battleground in the world of gambling when it comes time for the 2018 midterm elections. Proposed Amendment 3 is titled, “Voter Control of Gambling in Florida,” but the consequence of voting in favor of the amendment could make it harder for voters to have a say on gambling in the future.
People are typically more focused on the candidates running for open seats in state and federal governments than the amendments at issue. However, organizations like the Poker Alliance, which is the largest poker advocacy organization in the United States, is out in front of Florida’s Amendment 3 and its President Mark Brenner urges Floridians to vote no.
“Amendment 3 is a pernicious and anti-competitive approach to limiting poker and other gaming in the State of Florida for decades to come,” says Brenner. “A few exceedingly well financed special interests are driving a ballot initiative that is mislabeled and anti-consumer in the State of Florida and we are asking people to Vote No on 3.”
What the amendment would actually do is create another step in the process of potentially changing gambling laws in the State of Florida. It would essentially make it more difficult to expand gambling offerings by requiring that at least 60% of Floridians vote in favor of change in the future. Before that, Floridians would need to gather up the requisite signatures to even get a gambling amendment on the ballot.
Supporters of Florida’s Amendment 3 include Disney Worldwide Services and the Seminole Tribe. They have allegedly contributed almost $40 million in support of Amendment 3, which has been used to market it to voters across the state. It is clear as to why the Seminole Tribe is interested in making changes to gambling laws more difficult — the Seminole Tribe practically maintains a monopoly in gaming in Florida. It is less clear as to Disney’s motivation for supporting the amendment.
“There is a reason all of the major newspapers in Florida that have reviewed this initiative, and taken a position against the amendment, are encouraging people to vote no on Amendment 3,” added Brenner. “We agree with those who have thoughtfully reviewed the issues and logically concluded that this is horrible policy and merely a play by two special interest organizations to protect their bottom lines.”