In mid-September 2018, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Disney shelled out a whopping $10 million to fight gambling expansion in the state. As is turns out, both of them are not done with their anti-gambling expansion campaigns and they are at it again shelling out an additional $10 million that they will be used as part of their campaigns to sway voter’s opinions in the forthcoming November general election. Amendment 3 otherwise referred to as the Voter Approval of Casino Gambling Initiative, the law that the tribe and Disney are championing, will give voters in Florida the final say on whether or not to expand gambling operations in the state.
Their most recent contributions were made to Voters In Charge, a group that the Voter Approval of Casino Gambling amendment that will be decided on during the November 6 election – this time, the Seminole Tribe and Disney each shelled out a$5 million. However, if the total amounts spent are put into consideration, it was revealed that, so far, Disney has contributed the most for the company i.e., its 19.6 million contribution is followed by the Seminole Tribe’s $16.7 million. This brings the total amount contributed by both of them to around $36.3 million all of which was channeled towards the Voters In Charge lobbyist efforts.
Why the Opposition?
Disney has long been opposed to gambling expansion in Florida particularly because they believe that that it would pose a threat to its family-friendly business. This primarily points to the Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida that they fear will run short of customers in case the gambling expansion plans go through.
The Seminole Tribe, on the other hand, already operates a number of casinos in The Sunshine State and the gambling expansion plans would obviously mean the entry of more competitors and this will certainly not be good for their business.
As it stands, the state legislature is the only entity that gets to decide whether or not to allow more gambling operations in the state. Disney and Seminole Tribe are hoping to have this changed up by advocating for Amendment 3 which will put the choice in the hands of voters – to pass, the measure will need a 60 percent approval.
Rough Road Ahead
Voters In Charge is poised to take on two political action committees (PAC) on its path to success – these two PACs are the Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 and Vote NO on 3 and they both want Amendment 3 to be defeated. Their chances are also pretty solid since they already have managed to amass a great deal of financial support from a number of gambling entities.
Despite the tribe’s and Disney’s concerns, many of the state’s residents believe that if Amendment 3 is passed, it could lead to The Sunshine State losing out on revenue as well as jobs. In fact, many people have pointed out that the amendment is detrimental to the growth of the state’s economy and may even result in Florida being left behind as other states advance through their gambling industries.