Walt Disney Donates $20m to Fight Florida Casino Expansion

florida casino expansionWalt Disney, as well as Florida’s Seminole Tribe, have joined together to put up a whopping $36 million to fight against casino expansion and to make sure that Florida does not become the next Las Vegas.

The midterm elections are going to take place in the United States in November 2018. It will also see the ballot initiative in the state of Florida where voters will have the power to block the expansion of the casino.

If the ballot gets approval, it would need 60% statewide support for new casino site under the Amendment 3 of Florida Constitution, as per Bloomberg report. The report further adds such measure would also protect Florida’s Seminole tribe which is recognised by the Federal government and operates the gambling establishment in the state.

To make sure that Florida does not become the next Las Vegas, the Seminole Tribe along with Walt Disney has contributed $36 million. As per Dan Adkins who is the Chairman of Citizens of Truth About Amendment 3, the tribesmen of Florida are fighting for a good cause, and all are self-serving. Walt Disney is also supporting the cause because it would harm the family-friendly reputation of Florida.

The Yes Campaign that blocks the casino expansion in Florida has received quite a good amount of corporate funding. Walt Disney has alone funded $20 million to this cause. The Citizens for Truth about Amendment 3 has got contribution worth $7 million, and Vote Number 3 has received 1 million.

A poll was conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce between 19 and 24 September 2018 where it was found that 54% of residents were planning to vote in block’s favour. 28% of the residents did not want to vote and the rest 18% were undecided. The poll shows that a large number of people don’t want gambling expansion in Florida, but still many support the expansion in the state.

NFL Team Against the Measure

A separate report from the Bloomberg shows that South Florida Sod paid Citizens for Truth about Amendment 3 $500,000 in September. South Florida Sod Farm is the home turf for Miami Demphis. Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also spent the similar amount to oppose against the measure.

Neither of these teams has commented on the funding, but it seems they are watching everything closely. It is primarily because a ruling from the Supreme Court in May allowed sports betting to be legalised in several states. The reputed casino operator MGM Resorts International also does not support the move.

Everything will be clear after the midterm elections on November 6, 2018. If it is successful, gambling companies would now have another obstacle to clear because they would need 60% approval from the voters. At the same time, it would mean that the Seminole Tribe in Florida would remain in monopoly to others in the state.

Arguably, Florida is one of the best destinations for the expansion of gambling companies. It attracts a vast number of tourists every year with figures of 116.5 million last year. With so many people voting against the expansion, it will be interesting to see the final winner. Once the ballot has taken place and votes are counted, we would be finally able to know whether additional casinos would enter the state of Florida or not.


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