There has been a lot of discussion about the Amendment 3 which proposes to change Florida’s laws so that the authorities can’t make any decisions related to the gambling industry without getting the approval of 60% of the voters. The amendment is advocated by a group called Voters in Charge. Up until now it wasn’t clear how much support the movement managed to garner, but a recent poll conducted by the Hill Research Consultants has shown that about 71% of the voters plan to vote ‘Yes’ to Amendment 3. 18% of those surveyed said that they would vote ‘No’, while the remaining 11% abstained from an answer.
Amendment 3 would give back the power to the voters to make decisions on gambling-related issues
If the results of this poll reflect the true mindset of the voters, the supporters of Amendment 3 have a clear advantage and we should soon see people gaining more control over gambling-related decisions, but there are some who question the validity of these results. The critics point out that the poll was commissioned by Voters in Charge, who has obvious interests in the results of the poll. Furthermore, only 1,209 people were surveyed, which might not be enough to show the true state of the public sentiment. The last time Hill Research conducted this poll at the start of the year, a similar number of respondents were polled and the results were slightly more in favor of Amendment 3, with 76% of the voters saying they would cast a ‘Yes’ vote and 19% saying they would vote ‘No’.
Amendment 3 is promoted as something that would give back the power to the voters to make certain decisions regarding the gambling and online casinos industry. This is in part true, as it was only recently that the legislators took on the complete decision-making power. With the new laws, the lawmakers would require the support of 60% of the voters to make such decisions. “This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts,” – reads the amendment.
Business interests have caused millions of dollars to be poured into promoting both sides of the issue
In addition to this, it was clear for many from the start that this movement would attract a lot of money, as businesses with interest would try to sway the vote to their favor. Some of the largest corporations in the country are supporting Amendment 3. In fact, it is reported that over $27 million was spent on promoting the movement. The major sources of these funds are Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The latter operates casinos under Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International. Their interest in the legislation is clear. If Amendment 3 is approved, it is unlikely that the majority of the voters will approve the expansion of gambling activities that politicians might be incentivized to allow. This, in turn, means less competition for existing gambling providers.
“We start in a uniquely strong position. The simplicity of the amendment is its strength. Amendment 3 asks the simple question, ‘Who do you trust: Florida voters, or the politicians and the lobbyists who influence them?’” – commented the President of Voters in Charge – John Sowinski. “We are confident but by no means are we complacent. We anticipate the gambling industry and its lobbyists will fight hard against Amendment 3 and we are ready for that challenge,” – he added. Andrew Gillum, who is on the Democratic ticket for the gubernatorial primary also commented on the issue, expressing support for Amendment 3. “I am always in favor of the voters having a say on momentous issues,” – Gillum said. GOP candidate, Ron DeSantis has still to state his opinions on the matter.