Connect with us


Direct mail round-up: Gambling amendment all ‘Tricks, no treat’

A Halloween-themed anti-Amendment 3 flier hit mailboxes this weekend warning voters to not be tricked by the ballot measure giving voters the exclusive right to vote on gambling expansion in Florida.

“Amendment 3’s tricks are no treat,” the front of “Choose Me Not 3“ ’s  mailer reads, next to a stock photo of a carved pumpkin.

The amendment would require future gambling expansion in Florida to be decided by voters rather than by lawmakers and the Governor. The mailer, however, claims the amendment would cede local control and gut education funding.

The amendment “effectively stops all new casinos,” the ad claims. It alleges public schools would lose $200 million annually from casino revenue that goes into public schools, $250 million over 10 years by removing slot machines from certain places and $80 million over 10 years by blocking some gambling card games.

“That’s horrifying!” it says.

Those estimates are based on current funding levels associated with gambling revenue. The ad does not offer any citations for its claims.

Also, the ballot language does not specifically target existing gambling operations. Instead it requires 60 percent of statewide voters to OK expansions.

“Today, if your community votes to build a new casino, all it takes is approval from the Legislature to make it happen. But Amendment 3 takes away that local control. The people don’t decide,” the mailer reads.

The mailer directs voters to its website where the same claims are laid out with limited documentation of its claims.

Amendment 3 is backed by Disney Worldwide Services, Inc., which opposes gambling expansion in Florida, and the Seminole Tribe, which already has lucrative gambling operations throughout the state.

The “Choose Me Not 3” campaign is backed by the Citizens for Truth About Amendment 3 political committee, supported by an array of pari-mutuels, the FanDuel fantasy sports website, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, among others.

Opponents largely stem from the gambling industry, which would rather have to ability to expand gambling with fewer restrictions.

Also, Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International and Jacksonville Greyhound Racing each contributed $500,000 to the opposing campaign last month, while the South Florida Racing Association contributed $250,000.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.