After casinos were legalized in Atlantic City in 1977, gambling interests began targeting what they considered then, and now, as the biggest prize – Florida. But unlike Atlantic City, leaders in Florida realized that we have much to lose.  So then-Governor Reuben Askew took a bold stand.  He didn’t just oppose a casino-bankrolled ballot initiative to legalize casinos in Florida – he created an organization to stop it.  And he rallied leaders from the business, civic, law enforcement, religious and governmental communities to recognize what we all have to lose, and to engage the fight.

From that day forward, “No Casinos” was more than just a political effort – it was an important civic cause.  Voters overwhelmingly rejected high stakes casinos gambling in 1978.  And when the casino carnival bus made its way to Florida again in 1986 and 1994, No Casinos was reactivated to once again lead the fight with the help of the same coalition Governor Askew brought together in 1978.

For much of the past decade, No Casinos has remained active as the legislature tries to pass its own gambling bills. In every session since 2011 we have worked with community partners and legislators to stop any relevant bill from becoming law. And in 2018, we campaigned for the successful passage of Amendment 3, which reaffirms Floridians’ constitutional right to have the final say on casino gambling decisions. Recent Supreme Court rulings and casino lobbying have kept us active in trying to fend off sports betting. No Casinos remains committed to seeing this issue to its end because the stakes are just too high.

71% of Florida Voters approved Amendment 3 . . . Why is this even an issue anymore?

Because gambling lobbyists will say or do anything to get legislators to expand gambling. Now they are trying to convince legislators that there are ways around Amendment 3, or that certain types of casino gambling don’t require voter approval. They are wrong. Now it’s up to us to remind lawmakers that only voters have the authority to expand casino gambling. Period.

The Current Battle

Today the risk is even greater. The odds are even higher. But there is a big difference. Emboldened by lobbyist encouragement and a legally untested misinterpretation of Amendment 3’s scope – legislators are considering an expansion of gambling, in the form of sports betting, that would change the fabric of our state. This expansion would hurt our families, our local businesses and our family-friendly brand that is the envy of virtually every other state in our nation.

No Casinos has once again been reactivated to stop this threat to our economy, our families, our quality of life, and the character of our communities. Our supporters include the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Attractions Association, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Family Action, the Florida Ethics & Liberty Commission, and the Florida Sheriff’s Association – to name just a few.