No Casinos President John Sowinski outlined what he described as a “three-pronged strategy to prevent the expansion of gambling in Florida.” We will fight proposed legislative efforts to expand gambling including the newly proposed compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida, file an amicus brief in legal proceedings before the Florida Supreme Court, and through the Voters in Charge, a constitutional initiative committee, continue to collect signatures on an initiative petition that would require any form of gambling allowed in Florida to be approved by Florida voters by constitutional amendment.
Our philosophy is rooted in a traditional interpretation of Article X, section 7 of the Florida Constitution, which states, “Lotteries, other than the types of pari-mutuel pools authorized by law as of the effective date of this Constitution, are hereby prohibited in this state.”
Legislatively, we will oppose the proposed compact, oppose expansion of the Florida Lottery, and oppose legislation to create a Gaming Commission.
Next, Sowinski announced that No Casinos has been approved by the Florida Supreme Court to file an amicus brief in the Gretna Racing v Department of Business and Professional Regulations case. We will argue for strict interpretation of Article X, section 7, “making it clear that casino-style gambling can’t be legalized or expanded by legislative fiat – that rather – only the people of Florida have this power by constitutional amendment,” Sowinski added.
Third, Sowinski announced that the Voters In Charge committee has collected over 90,000 initiative petitions and has sent those petitions to county Supervisors of Elections to begin the validation procedure. If we do not prevail in the Gretna case, the Voters in Charge petition drive will gather the required signatures to place the proposed amendment entitled “Voter Control of Gambling in Florida” on the 2018 ballot.
“Casino gambling is the wrong economic and the wrong social policy for Florida. It’s been repeatedly defeated by Florida voters. It’s been a disaster and failed to fulfill promises in virtually every jurisdiction where it’s been legalized,” Sowinksi continued. “It’s become a burden to our legislative and political processes. We’re committed to defeating proposed expansions, and returning the power to decide this issue to the people of Florida.”