By: Mike Thomas
Voters in Charge
I appreciate there are so many lies, and so little time. But given the importance of the casino gambling issue in Florida, we need to bring to your attention this false mailer put out by opponents of Amendment 3, the Voters Control of Gambling initiative. Casino interests are making obviously false claims about education funding and gambling. It’s an old scam, but this latest version is particularly egregious.
Their mailer claims Amendment 3 “will gut school funding.”
You be the judge.
They make three claims:
1) Without Amendment 3, the state will approve new casinos bringing in $200 million annually. How can you possibly make such an assumption? And how do you gut education funding that doesn’t currently exist? Simple answer: you don’t.
2) Amendment 3 could remove existing slot machines costing schools $250 million. This concerns slot machines at a single pari-mutuel in Hialeah. It is a dubious claim and it was addressed by the Florida Supreme Court in this ruling(page 10), which put Amendment 3 on the ballot. On their mailer, the casino interests use the word “could” and then 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.
3) “Could stop some types of card games costing Florida $80 million a year.” This apparently refers to so-called “designated player games.” They say Amendment 3 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. All that aside, once again we see the same deception as noted in claim number 2. 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.
So, 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…
Amendment 3 does just one thing – it puts Florida voters in control of casino gambling proposals in our state. Vote YES on Amendment 3!
And read our press release about the casino moguls and gambling interests using these false claims to oppose Amendment 3.
Paid Political advertisement Paid for by Voters in Charge, PO Box 1991 Orlando Florida 32802.