Joint Coalition Statement in Opposition to Legislatures Proposed Gambling “Deal” By Dennis Baxley, Christian Coalition of Florida; Bill Bunkley, Florida Baptist Convention; Nathan Dunn, Florida Family Action; John Stemberger, Florida Family Policy Council

Joint Legislative Committee Proposes Largest Predatory Gambling Expansion in Florida’s History, Which Would Adversely Affect Children and Families For Generations

(Tallahassee, FL) We are extraordinarily disappointed in the joint legislative “deal” which proposes the largest expansion of predatory gambling in Florida’s history.  The original House position of “containment” was premised on a commitment to no additional expansion of gambling.  Rather than containing the fire, this new proposal would start a wildfire of new expansion across the state for this destructive vice. 

In light of the fact that the budget does not depend on gambling money, and no court has ordered Florida to allow Class III games at Seminole facilities, it makes this proposal even more unnecessary, irresponsible and reckless. 

Further, the claim that gambling money is needed “for the children” is nonsense.  This proposal shows no apparent concern for the children whose families will eventually be shattered in divorce, suicide, crime and bankruptcy from their parents gambling addictions.  The people of Florida must necessarily lose billions of consumer dollars to the gambling industry in order to produce the revenue that the proposal hopes for.  These dollars do not create new wealth but simply redistribute money that would otherwise be spent on goods and services in Florida’s businesses which would truly stimulate the economy.

It is economically and morally wrong for the government to foster predatory gambling in our state which merely preys upon the weakness, poverty and financial loss of Floridians for the sake of profit.

We applaud the 29 House members and 12 Senators who voted against the original Compact bills.  We urge them to reach out to their colleagues with encouragement to join them in rejecting this much more expansive gambling deal.  This new proposal is so far from the original House position that it should be easy for people of conscience to vote against it, even if they voted for the more conservative approaches that passed the House last month.

For further information contact Michelle McKinnie  407-251-5130 or at [email protected]

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