Resist another run to expand gaming
The Tampa Tribune
September 29, 2013
Once again, the Legislature is gearing up to evaluate and discuss Florida’s gambling laws — which, as everyone should know by now, is essentially a smokescreen for finding ways to expand gaming.
Lawmakers need to resist the urge. Just because other states are leaning more heavily on gambling to generate tax revenues and create jobs doesn’t mean that Florida should follow suit. This is one area in which we should have no desire to compete.
More gambling would be bad for the state’s family-oriented image, further encourage a destructive behavior by residents and visitors alike, and cement horrendous public policy that would amount to yet another tax.
The urge to increase legal gaming in Florida is growing on several fronts, only a couple of years after a failed proposal to allow “destination” gaming resorts in South Florida didn’t make it out of the Legislature.
Since then, the Legislature has hired a consultant to conduct a comprehensive study of gambling in Florida. The study, by Spectrum Gaming, is supposed to be unbiased, but that’s a farce because of the New Jersey-based firm’s extensive ties to the gambling industry. Its client list includes Genting, which pushed for a destination casino in South Florida a couple of years ago, and many other gaming interests.
Read the full article online here.
Contact: Michael Murphy