Florida casinos: Fix is in?
September 29, 2013
Imagine if Florida were like Atlantic City. If that vision has you reeling, here’s the jaw dropper: A casino lobbyist in Florida recently cited Atlantic City and Las Vegas as examples where “they do it right.”
When politicians encounter a particularly thorny issue, they often order up a study. Even if their minds are already made up, a report — always objective and independent, of course — provides them with the cover to “do the right thing.” That’s exactly what the Florida Legislature, under pressure for years from mega-casino interests, did about expanding gambling.
Unfortunately Florida legislators turned to Atlantic City for advice, when they really need to look there for an example of what not to do.
The city, home for 35 years to Vegas-style casinos, is also home to Spectrum Gaming Group, a consulting firm steeped in work for virtually every type of gambling interest across America and in Florida. In fact, Spectrum recently worked for the Genting company as part of the Malaysian casino giant’s failed lobbying efforts to build the biggest casino in the world in downtown Miami.
Now it is the Legislature’s most important “independent” adviser on legislation affecting Genting and scores of their other clients.
Read John’s full opinion piece here.
Contact: Michael Murphy