A constitutional amendment proposed by a Florida organization that would usurp local referendums and give residents state-wide the authority to approve non-tribal casino gambling has garnering enough signatures to be considered by the Florida Supreme Court, according to Florida Politics.
As of Monday morning, long time casino antagonist John Sowinski’s Voter Control of Gambling amendment had 69,336 signatures, which is more than the 10 percent of total signatures required to trigger a review by the Court. It’s also the first step in the process of getting on the 2018 statewide ballot. In addition to the 683,149 signatures needed in all, a proposals language and ballot summary must be approved by the court before it can go before voters.
Sowinski is confident the amendment meets the requirements for Supreme Court review. Also headed by Sowinski is No Casinos, an Orlando-based anti-gambling expansion organization. Sowinski added that the group is prepared to move forward with putting the initiative on the 2018 ballot if the court in the Gretna case doesn’t rule in favor of giving Florida voters exclusive authority over gambling decisions in the state.
Gretna Racing, seeks to add slot machines to its facility as approved by voters in a local referendum in 2012.
In an interview with Law360 in October, Sowinski said that unlike previous anti-gambling campaigns, the organization isn’t strictly opposed to gambling, instead, he claims it focuses on empowering voters.
John Sowinski is a founding partner of Consensus Communications, a communications strategist with experience in public policy, media relations, message development, and paid media management.