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Amendment 3 Foes Pour Money Into Ballot Fight

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

A political committee raised $7.75 million during a week-long period as it tries to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that could make it harder to expand gambling in Florida, according to a newly filed finance report. 

The contributions were made between Oct. 13 and Oct. 19 to a committee known as Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3.

Money came from a variety of gambling interests, such as $2 million from MGM Resorts International, $1 million from Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, Inc. and $250,000 from Tampa Bay Downs, Inc., according to the report posted on the state Division of Elections website.

The committee, which had raised an overall total of $14.69 million as of Oct. 19, also spent nearly $8.89 million during the week-long period, with almost all of the money going for advertising-related expenses.

The committee is fighting a proposal on the Nov. 6 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 appears on the ballot as Amendment 3, has been heavily backed by Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Disney has been a longtime opponent of casino gambling, while the Seminole Tribe already operates lucrative casinos in the state.