Orlando, Fla. –With its strongest fundraising and petition gathering month to date, the Voters In Charge Committee, sponsors of the Voter Control of Gambling Amendment, today announced it is rapidly approaching the goal of placing their amendment on the 2018 ballot. The group announced that it gathered nearly 200,000 petitions while raising $1.55 million during the month of October. The group’s base of major financial donors expanded during October with major contributions from Walt Disney World and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
“Voters across Florida are going on record in favor of citizen control of gambling,” said John Sowinski, Chairman of Voters in Charge. “We are pleased that the Seminole Tribe of Florida responded favorably to our request to support our Voter Control of Gambling amendment, which gives Florida voters, not politicians or bureaucrats, the ultimate authority to approve gambling in Florida.” Sowinski pointed out that a 2010 Compact between the Tribe and the State of Florida is intended to provide a firewall against the expansion of gambling throughout Florida, but, gambling lobbyists in Tallahassee continue to push expansion proposals that would violate the Seminole Compact, and promises made to the people of Florida.
The $1.55 million raised in October brings the total raised by Voters In Charge to over $4.1 million. In addition, the group gathered 199,543 petitions during the month of October, bringing their total to 860,203 collected of the goal of 1.1 million signed petitions. The Florida Division of Elections is currently reporting 391,783 valid of the 766,200 needed to gain placement on the 2018 ballot.
“Our message of giving Florida voters, not politicians, the ultimate authority on gambling decisions is resonating throughout Florida,” Sowinski continued. “We are on target to complete our petition drive by year’s end, after which we will turn our full attention to building voter support for our amendment through a broad grassroots effort and robust statewide campaign.”
The Voter Control of Gambling Amendment would require that in order for any form of casino gambling to be authorized in Florida, it must first be approved by Florida voters through a statewide initiative referendum. The amendment consistently polls near or above 70% approval. The ballot summary is as follows:
“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.
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