Opponents of Seminole Compact Create Ad Campaign
No Casinos are a group against the new Seminole Tribe compact in Florida that recently launched a new campaign against the deal.
Not long ago, it was announced that Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe had agreed upon a new gaming compact deal. Before it can become a reality, there are still a few more steps that must take place. For opponents of the agreement, steps are being taken to try and stop the compact from moving forward. A group called No Casinos is opposed to the details inside the agreement and have launched a new ad campaign that is live statewide to warn residents of what they say is an illegal gambling expansion. The group says that sports betting added to the measure is in violation of the state’s constitution.
Anti-Gambling Group Pushing to Stop the Compact
The anti-gambling group is based in Orlando and they argue that the deal recently signed between the state and the Seminole Tribe lets the gambling lobbyists and lawmakers decide on a gaming expansion in Florida instead o the voters. The compact could be finalized in just over a week during a Special Legislative Session.
The ad talks about how voters are the ones who are supposed to have a say when the state is considering expanding on the gambling industry. No Casinos references Amendment 3 in its ad, a constitutional mandate that was passed back in 2018, by an overwhelming number of Florida voters.
With the passage of the amendment, residents in the state were give the exclusive ability to decide if casino gaming will expand in any way. The group says that even though the provision exists, the sports betting element in the compact with the Tribe goes against it. They say the new industry will turn every cellphone in the state into a slot machine.
No Casinos say that the only thing missing is voter approval. The group is asking for voters to take action against the compact. The group would like to see residents contact legislators and ask them to not allow the compact to move forward.
Details of the Compact
The compact is 30 years in length and would support game rooms that are non-tribal operating that run pari-mutuel tracks. The operators would be allowed to decouple from the requirement to continue pari-mutuel operations. With this change, the tribe would then be able to expand operations and now offer sports betting services.
For the state, Florida would receive more funds through revenue sharing. The state should see around $500 million a year or more from the tribe. While the revenues would be good for the state, the No Casinos group believes that the way the compact is being set up to offer new gaming options is illegal.
John Sowinski, the president of No Casinos, said that voters were ‘crystal clear’ when they approved Amendment 3 and they want the final say on a gambling expansion in the state. The group is letting the voters know that the proposed compact is a violation of the constitution and not the will of the people.
The ad is titled People, No Politicians, and it will run online as well as television. Key markets will air the ad in the hopes of getting voters to contact their local lawmakers. If the group had their way, the compact would not move forward as it stands now and the voters would be allowed to decide upon it before the tribe is approved for additional services.
It will be interesting to see if the effort has a full impact and if it will affect the ability of the compact moving forward. Is the tribe and the state breaking the law by allowing the new betting options to move forward without a state vote?