250 attended the Rally to Protect Florida’s Future that Florida Family Action organized on Tuesday in Tallahassee. The event was very successful, was fully covered by every major media outlet and people came from across the state to ask legislators to vote no on casino gambling expansion. Buses were mobilized from Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Over a half-million automated calls were made. Thousands of our supporters called and emailed legislators. Our voice was clearly heard.
Killed Slot machine games on smartphones. Called “slots for tots” by many critics, this would have placed the most addictive form of gambling in the hands of any person with a smartphone. The particular concern was that teens and kids would have access to these addictive games called the “crack cocaine” of gambling, at an early age.
No one was successful at turning the 17 parimutuel waging facilities into neighborhood casinos with slot machines. Some in the process proposed having slot machines in these local facilities. This would have been a huge step to having mini casinos in seventeen neighborhoods across the state many of which are poor neighbor neighborhoods. This idea never caught fire and it would have also would have clearly required statewide and local approval by the voters under an amendment adopted in 2018 by the voters of Florida.
And, House Bingo bills and Fantasy Sports bills died.
The agreement or “Compact” with the Seminole Tribe of Florida clearly expanded the casino gambling that occurs on Seminole reservations. The compact approved by the Florida Senate (with only one dissenting vote) and by the Florida House (with 17 votes dissenting, 9 Republicans, and 8 Democrats) added the casino games of Roulette and “Craps” to the existing slot machines and poker tables.
Legislators legalized online “Sports Betting” for the Tribe to operate on the internet in mobile devices and computers across Florida outside the jurisdiction of tribal property. Claiming that because their internet servers would be located on the physical property of the tribe, they can also allow sports betting to happen on smartphones outside the tribal lands. This is arguably unconstitutional under Florida’s requirement to have voter approval of new classes of casino-type games and will be challenged and ultimately decided upon by the Florida Supreme Court.
The 17 Parimutuel facilities can now offer “Sports Betting” creating a new neighborhood form of gambling which targets young people. The parimutuels have been “decoupled” which facilities now have the option of playing the live games (dog racing [which will eventually end because of the amendment passed], the horse-pulled harness races, and Jai-Alai games most of which are not as profitable) and now will offer card games, poker, and the new sports betting sponsored by the Seminole tribes. Sports betting is particularly important because it is attractive to a younger generation of gamblers and will get them hooked for years to come. Many of these 17 local neighborhood facilities will have large screens with all types of sports and people betting on the nuances of these games’ outcomes and the performance of individual players.
We are now going to have to live with the social, moral, and economic consequences of this new expanded gambling for the next 30 years to come.
Call and say THANK YOU to all the legislators who VOTED NO on the Compact that Expanded Casino Gambling
9 Republicans voted no and 8 Democrats voted no in the Florida House for a total of 17 votes nay. In the Florida Senate, only Jeff Brandes voted no.
[email protected], 727-563-2100
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Thank you again,
Florida Family Action
4853 S. Orange Avenue | Suite C | Orlando, FL 32806
[email protected] | Phone: 407-418-0250