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Gambling opposition group spends $15 million on ads

A political committee leading a drive to pass a ballot proposal that could make it harder to expand gambling in Florida spent $15 million on advertising this month, according to finance reports.

The committee known as Voters In Charge, which has been primarily funded by Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, paid $15 million to the Virginia-based firm National Media Research, Planning & Placement.

The report posted on the state Division of Elections website indicates the payment was made Aug. 8 and lists “advertising” as the purpose of the expenditure.

Voters In Charge has raised about $26.74 million since being formed in 2015 and had $4.8 million in cash on hand as of Thursday.

The committee is backing a proposal on the November ballot that would change the Florida Constitution and give voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling” in the state.

It would require voter approval of casino-style games in the future and effectively reduce the power of the Legislature and governor to decide gambling-related issues.

The measure, which will appear on the ballot as Amendment 3, would require approval from 60 percent of voters to pass. Disney has been a longtime opponent of casino gambling in Florida, while the Seminole Tribe already operates casinos in the state.

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Content provided by The News Service of Florida, republished with permission. 

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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