In Florida, a new poll from the No Casinos In Florida lobby group has reportedly found that some 84% of the southern state’s residents want to reduce casino gambling or keep the status quo while some 60% of respondents stated that they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who was in favor of casino expansion.
The results of the investigation come as legislators in the Florida State Senate are considering a proposed measure that would expand gambling and renegotiate the state’s stalled compact with the casino-operating Seminole Tribe Of Florida. Known as Senate Bill 8, the legislation would license a pair of new slots-only casinos for Miami-Dade County and Broward County while permitting existing gambling facilities in the two counties to offer up to 25 blackjack tables.
In addition, the proposed legislation from Florida State Senator Bill Galvano would allow slots to be licensed at facilities in eight counties from January while reducing the state-wide tax rate on the machines by 10% to 25%. It would also permit all parimutuel card rooms in Florida to run “player-banked” games such as poker and set aside up to $20 million a year to support the horseracing industry by supplementing live race purse pools.
However, the No Casinos In Florida poll, which was conducted by Jacksonville-based Mason-Dixon Polling And Research Incorporated from February 24 to 28 and involved surveying some 624 registered voters via telephone, reportedly discovered that only 8% of Floridians felt that there was not enough casino gambling in the state while 46% saw the current offering as sufficient.
“Tallahassee politicians need to get the message that only 8% of Florida voters want gambling expanded and 84% want it left alone or reduced,” read a statement from John Sowinski, President for No Casinos In Florida. “It’s time to stop listening to gambling lobbyists and listen to the people.”
The No Casinos In Florida poll moreover reportedly found that the anti-expansion sentiment was strongest in central Florida with some 92% of respondents stating that they were either against more gambling or in favor of keeping things as they are. This was followed by those in the north of the state at 87% while the figure in the south-west came in at 84%. South-east Florida was found to be the region most in favor of expanded gambling with 11% of those surveyed in the area centered on Miami expressing their opinion that the current offering was insufficient followed by the Tampa area at 10%.
“A vast majority of Floridians don’t want their elected officials to expand gambling because they know that more gambling hurts the quality of life for them and their families,” read the statement from Sowinski. “Elected officials should take heed, it is not only good public policy, it is also smart politics to reject expanding gambling in Florida.”