Florida League of Women Voters
1994 Constitutional Amendments
Amendment 8, Florida Constitution
Authorizing a limited number of gaming casinos in Broward, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lee, Orange, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties, with two in Miami Beach; and limited-size casinos with existing and operating pari-mutuel facilities; and if authorized by the Legislature up to five limited-size riverboat casinos in the remaining counties, but only one per county. Effective upon adoption, but prohibiting casino gaming until July 1, 1995.
Your choice will be YES to approve this amendment or NO to reject it.
The League reports: "If approved by the voters, this amendment will legalize casino gambling in the state of Florida.
"There are five active petition initiatives to institute various forms of gambling in Florida. This amendment proposed by Proposition for Limited Casinos Inc., the most vocal and best financed of the initiatives, is the only one to obtain enough signatures to qualify for the 1994 ballot. One of the initiatives requested that the court allow two more weeks to process signatures, but the request was denied.
"In the past voters have defeated amendments to the Constitution to allow gambling (often called gaming by the proponents) with the exception of the Lottery, which was adopted in 1986. A petition initiative to adopt casino gambling along Florida’s southeast coast was defeated by the voters in 1978. Petitions calling for amendments to allow casino gambling and a state lottery did not get enough signatures to go on the ballot in 1982. There was a petition initiative which placed an amendment on the ballot in 1986 to allow casino gambling by local option. This amendment was soundly defeated by the voters, although a petition to allow a state lottery did receive approval of the voters.
"In the last attempt to legalize casino gambling, the state’s pari-mutuel establishments (dog and horse tracks, jai alai frontons) went all out to kill the proposed amendment because they feared damage would be done to their industry. This petition originally limited casino gambling mainly to existing pari-mutuel establishments. However, the petition was revised in April 1994 to allow a number of casinos around the state. Some say now the title -- Limited Casinos -- is a misnomer.
"The campaign paid workers to gather signatures at $2 a signature. There were unprecedented problems with forged and non-voter signatures on the petitions."
- Will draw more tourists to Florida and dramatically increase state revenue.
Will create revenues for state government through taxes on gambling.
- Will increase revenue to local government through construction and development associated with permitting casino gambling.
- Will add casino gambling to the lottery and pari-mutuel gambling presently legalized in Florida.
A Look at:
- Will divert existing gambling revenues to casino gambling with a smaller net return (the lottery returns 38 cents on the wagered dollar to the state compared to 12 cents projected for casino gambling).
- Will increase crime, further tarnishing the state’s reputation as a crime haven. The costs associated with crime will be a burden to state and local government.
- Will be a net revenue loss. Studies in states allowing casino gambling (Connecticut and Illinois) indicate the cost of regulating casino gambling exceeds the tax revenue generated by casino gambling.
- Casino and other gambling exists in 14 states, reducing the potential for increased tourism due to gambling in Florida. Las Vegas is turning to attractions to replace income lost from reduced gambling.
- Legalized gambling has been shown to increase illegal gambling.
Introduction of gambling casinos to Atlantic City, N.J. brought about a subsequent deterioration of the rest of the city and surrounding areas. (Reference: Florida Trend, Casino Fever, Part One, May, 1994, pp. 30-36; Part Two, June, 1994, pp. 62-67)
Amendment 1 (Start of regular sessions of the Legislature)
Amendment 2 (Limitation on state revenue collections)
Amendment 3 (Limiting marine net fishing)
Amendment 4 (Revenue limits)
Return to How to Use This Guide or Ballot
Source: Florida League of Women Voters
540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301