(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – NoCasinos.org today released an analysis disproving the industry talking point that “Florida is the 4th largest ‘gaming’ state.” This claim has been made so often by casino lobbyists that legislators repeat it as fact. Worse yet, it has become the primary rationale for proposed sweeping changes in Florida’s gambling laws.
The problem is, it’s false. Floridians aren’t the gambling enthusiasts the industry likes to portray. According to the new analysis, Florida is America’s 23rd – not 4th – largest gambling state. The analysis was conducted by Richard Herring, who spent 26 years as an attorney working for the Florida Legislature, including 16 years in appropriations. Herring also teaches graduate-level courses on the Florida legislative and appropriations processes at Florida State University.
“Legislators should ask themselves why gambling interests would spend millions trying to break into a market that they claim is so over-saturated,” said No Casinos President John Sowinski. “The reality they know is that when you account for the size of our population, gambling is not nearly as prevalent as the industry portrays – and that’s why they want in.”
Throughout the debate on this highly contentious issue, the casino industry has used the “4th largest” claim in an attempt to prove public acceptance of gambling and argue for legalization of Las Vegas-style casinos and other sweeping changes in Florida’s gambling laws.
No Casinos calls on legislators to review the analysis, and to avoid using industry talking points – which are often false or misleading – as the basis for policy changes or gambling expansion.