Disney funds anti-casino campaign in Florida

  • Disney are upping their campaign against casinos in Florida
  • Follows Disney decision to not offer cruise ships with casinos onboard

Disney is continuing its opposition to casino games in Florida by allocating funds towards a campaign which opposes the opening of new casinos in the state.

The entertainment conglomerate wants to amend the Florida constitution to allow voters to have their say on whether they want any future land-based casinos in the state. At the moment, voter approval is not required for the opening of new gaming venues.

Disney’s opposition to casinos is nothing new

Disney has long opposed casinos and gambling, as evident through its casino-less cruise ships but the company has now taken its opposition to new levels by placing at least $650,000 into an anti-gambling campaign to prevent new casinos opening in South Florida.

Tourism is a key but very competitive industry in Florida with companies competing with each other to win tourists money.

Casinos in South Florida offer a very real threat to tourism at Disneyland, something the company is keen to ensure doesn’t happen.

Problems with Disney’s anti-casino initiative

Whilst Florida law essentially bans gambling, courts and legislators have found several ways to get around these laws to allow the opening of brand new casinos.

John Sowinski, the head of the No Casinos group, told the Orlando Sentinel: “There is a fictional belief that the Legislature can do whatever it wants this is really about where does this decision belong? We trust the voters.”

Despite the efforts to prevent gambling expansion in the state, Marc Dunbar, an attorney and lobbyist for the gambling industry, says Disney’s anti-casino initiative has many different problems.
He told the Orlando Sentinel:

“All this does is shift the issue from the Legislature to the courts, it’s a parade of uncertainty.”

There is a good chance, should the campaign go well, that the issue could make it onto the ballot next year meaning the people of Florida can vote against the opening of new casinos.

OUR VERDICT

This is obviously very bad news for the gambling industry in the state, especially given that the public have previously voted against amendments to allow casinos to open in 1978 and 1986.

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