Gambling lobbyists are opposed to Amendment 3. Here are the facts:
False Claim #1: Without Amendment 3, the state will approve new casinos bringing in $200 million annually.
DEBUNKED: This claim is pure fiction. It assumes that without Amendment 3, new casinos would be approved throughout Florida, assumes they would be taxed at that amount, and assumes that this funding would go to education. And how do you gut education funding that doesn’t currently exist? Simple answer: you can’t.
False Claim #2: Amendment 3 could remove existing slot machines costing schools $250 million.
DEBUNKED: This concern assumes the amendment would remove slot machines from one facility in South Florida. It won’t. Amendment 3 does not affect gambling currently authorized under Florida law. This dubious argument was rejected by the Florida Supreme Court when Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot. The casino interests use the word “could” and then they multiply annual state proceeds from these slot machines ($25 million) by 10 years to generate the $250 million. This multiplier wasn’t disclosed except in very small type at the bottom of the mailer. That’s just sneaky.
False Claim #3: “Could stop some types of card games costing Florida $80 million a year.”
DEBUNKED: Supposedly, the $80 million refers to so-called “designated player games.” The casino interests opposing Amendment 3 say it would get rid of the designated player games going on now at certain pari-mutuel facilities. What they fail to mention is that a federal judge found these games to be a violation of the Seminole Compact, and the state entered into a consent agreement to shut them down. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is in rulemaking now to eliminate them –with or without Amendment 3. Because these games violate the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, they are currently putting at risk up to $300 million in tribal payments to the state. Even with those facts aside, once again, the casino interest took the $8 million generated annually from the card games, multiplied it by 10 years to get a bigger number, then disclaimed it where nobody would see. Also, the $8 million from the card games goes into general revenue, not any education fund.
Notable Note: In total, their 3 claims actually boil down to the improbable loss of $25 million in education funding from slot revenues at one pari-mutuel. The state spends more than $20 billion annually on education.
FACT: Amendment 3 does just one thing – it puts Florida voters in control of casino gambling proposals in our state, not Tallahassee politicians. Vote YES on Amendment 3!