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New Committee Raises Money To Fight Gambling Measure

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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A political committee formed last month has raised $1.25 million to help fight a proposed constitutional amendment that could make it harder to expand gambling in the state.

The committee, Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3, Inc., filed paperwork with the state July 18 and raised the money from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7.

Contributions included $500,000 from Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, Inc., a Northeast Florida gambling operator, and $250,000 from Fontainebleau Florida Hotel, LLC of Miami Beach, according to campaign-finance reports.

The committee opposes a proposed constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 3, that will appear on the November general-election ballot.

If approved by 60 percent of voters, the ballot proposal 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 amendment drive has been heavily funded by Disney Worldwide Services, Inc., a longtime opponent of casino gambling, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which already operates lucrative casinos in the state.