Ocala Star Banner Recommends Voting YES on Amendment 3 - Voters In Charge

Ocala Star Banner Recommends Voting YES on Amendment 3

Ocala Star Banner Recommends Voting YES on Amendment 3

AMENDMENT 3

Amendment 3 is subtitled “Voter control of gambling in Florida,” and according to the ballot summary, approval of the measure “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” in a statewide referendum.

The proposal seeks, in essence, to re-establish and codify the role of voters in the approval and expansion of gambling — long a hot topic in Florida.

In recent decades, the Legislature and governor have asserted more influence over casino gambling. This amendment is intended, in part, to reverse that trend.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, which operates casinos and offers various forms of gambling, and Disney, which has opposed expansion of gaming, have contributed heavily — in their self-interest — to the committee behind this initiative. Those contributions are enough to give voters pause but not enough to warrant opposition; after all, the tribe and Disney approach the issue from opposite sides.

Preserving voter control of gambling is important. It also important to protect the Florida brand, and as we have seen in other states that have legalized widespread casino gambling, it rarely leads to the positive things that are promised up front.

We recommend voting YES on Amendment 3.

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