Today promoters of the proposed compact between the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida struck a pose and borrowed the rhetoric from the Las Vegas and Malaysian casinos bosses that the legislature has sent packing for the past 4 years.
“Family Friendly Destination Resorts” is enough to make even the most unabashed casino promoter blush, but the Seminole Tribe is now relegated to making the pitch for the same types of gambling that it has opposed for the past several legislative sessions, because, of course, that gambling would now be under their roof.
Unfortunately, the new compact would not just explode gambling at tribal facilities, but across the state as well.
“The Seminole Compact was sold to Floridians as a firewall against the further expansion of gambling in our state,” said No Casinos President John Sowinski. “The fact that the renewal of this compact is now being used by every gambling interest in the state as a tool for gambling expansion betrays the public trust.”
All of this occurs at a time when there is growing doubt over whether the legislature has the authority under Florida’s constitution to legalize forms of gambling that are not specifically provided for in the constitution. This issue is expected to be addressed by the court in the upcoming Gretna Racing, LLC v Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations case.
“The sales job for this compact ignores the original purpose of having a compact, ignores the findings of a $400,000 legislative study that concluded that more gambling would do little for the economy, ignores state economists’ reports that gambling doesn’t create new jobs and revenues, but merely cannibalizes existing gambling and entertainment spending, ignores Moody’s downgrade of the gambling industry and most importantly, it ignores what’s happened over the past 2 years in Atlantic City, Macau, and other gambling-dependent economies,” said Sowinski.