Florida Passes Amendment 3: Will it Halt Future Sports Betting and Poker Expansion?

On Election Day earlier this week, almost 2/3 of Florida voters said”Yes” to Amendment 3, the Voter Approval of Casino Gambling Initiative, a step that the Poker Alliance opposed.

Florida amendment 3

Florida Amendment 3 passed the ballet box with a’Yes’ vote, meaning state residents now have a state on gambling expansion. (Image: seminolehardrockpokeropen.com)

The poker industry advocacy group contends that the conclusion, supported by both Disney Worldwide Services and the Seminole Tribe, among the strongest teams in the nation, will stallĀ attempts to pass legislation to legalize online poker and sports gambling.

In Tuesday’s election, 64.4 percent of the respondents approved of the amendment.

Effect on Gambling

Amendment 3″ensures that Florida voters will have the exclusive right to determine whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be approved under Florida law.”

While that may seem great to some, it adds additional hurdles should Florida want to expand gambling.

In most states, if lawmakers want to legalize online poker, they can do this without getting approval from their components. But that will no longer be true in Florida.

Due to Amendment 3 passing, online poker legislation now needs voter approval. Ditto.

Another form of gambling may have negatively been affected by the”Yes” vote: sports gambling. If the vast majority of voters don’t approve of legalized sports gambling in Florida by referendum, the game is over before it begins.

Florida voters also passed Amendment 13, which bans greyhound racing and plans to phase out the business entirely by 2020.

Strange Bedfellows?

You might be asking yourself why a theme park and hotel operator such as Disney even cares about a gambling bill. On the surface, it might appear the industries are not connected.

But Disney fears gambling expansion will encourage clients to spend their entertainment dollars in the casino, instead of with Mickey and Goofy, which the publicly traded company believes is bad for their bottom line.

The Seminole Tribe, meanwhile, owns six casinos in the state, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, considered one of the top poker rooms in the nation.

The tribe surely has obvious reasons for opposing new casino operators from entering the state. But two of the three NFL teams in Florida opposed the amendment — Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The city of Tampa Bay donated $500,000 to a political committee that opposed the measure.

Online poker has a tough enough conflict gaining support. In Florida, on account of the new gambling law, legislation just became even more difficult.

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