A poll released today shows 72% of Florida voters are less likely to support a political candidate who votes to expand gambling without first putting the measure before voters in a statewide referendum. The poll, released by No Casinos, is being sent to all legislative candidates along with a pledge statement that they will oppose the expansion of gambling in Florida.
The poll, conducted by Hill Research Consultants, surveyed Florida voters on their opinions about gambling. Among its findings, the poll found that:
• 69% support a referendum requiring voter approval of all gambling expansion decisions. Such a referendum, the Voter Control of Gambling Amendment, currently is before the Florida Supreme Court for placement on the 2018 ballot. Only 21% oppose it.
• 83% believe that Florida voters should decide gambling policy in Florida. By comparison, 7% believe the Florida Legislature should decide, 3% believe the Governor should decide and 3% believe the courts should decide.
• 72% indicated they would be less likely to support a political candidate who supports expanded gambling in Florida without a statewide vote. By contrast, 18% are more likely to support such a candidate and 6% say it makes no difference.
• 75% disagree that more gambling in their city will improve the quality of life for them or their families, while 18% believe more gambling improves their quality of life.
“The will of the voters could not be clearer,’’ said John Sowinski, President of No Casinos. “Regardless of political party, Floridians overwhelmingly want a say in whether gambling will be expanded in our state. They understand the negative social and economic consequences. This is why the gaming industry continually tries to circumvent public opinion, hiring lobbyists and lawyers to push their agenda of more and bigger casinos in the Legislature and courts. Elected officials should take heed — it is not only good public policy, it is also smart politics to reject expanding gambling in Florida.”
The poll was conducted from June 23– June 27, 2016. It had a sample of 670 active voters that voted in at least one election 2010–2015. Margin of error is +/- 3.8%.
No Casinos has asked candidates to sign the pledge and return it by August 5, 2016.