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Amendment 3: Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

October 4, 2018 - 6:00am

Ballot Language: This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that, in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.

How The Amendment Reached The Ballot: Citizen Initiative

What Your Vote Means: A Yes vote on this measure: gives Floridians the exclusive right to authorize casino gambling within the state. A No vote on this measure: keeps the right to authorize casino gambling withthe legislature.

Pro: Amendment 3 gives Florida voters the ability to authorize any expansion of casino gambling. To pass any form of expansion, a 60 percent majority vote must exist. This measure shifts the policy decision from those elected to the voters directly. It also adds language to the Florida Constitution that limits “casino gambling” to: card games, casino games, slot machines, and other similar games. This citizen initiative does not apply to dog racing, horse racing, jai alai, etc. Supporters claim that Floridians should have the final word on casino gambling in the state. By putting the power in the hands of voters directly, Amendment 3 makes it less likely that special interests would be able to influence policy decisions regarding gambling. Advocates of the measure see this as an opportunity to preserve Florida’s “family friendly” culture. This effort comes at a crucial time after the Supreme Court legalized sports betting earlier this spring.

Con: Citizens elect representatives to serve on their behalf. If elected officials do not adequately execute the core functions of the job description, citizens have avenues to replace them. Holding a vote for any expansion of casino gambling leads to unnecessary referendums. The policy and lawmaking function has been delegated to our legislative branch of government. Further, this amendment severely regulates the gaming industry, an industry that could ultimately provide revenue streams to government. Skeptics claim that traditional gambling outlets know expansion would be more difficult via the populace at large. Therefore, it crystalizes the current gambling outlook in Florida for the foreseeable future. Any expansion of gambling would require a 60 percent approval from the voters—a difficult threshold to overcome. Putting the decision in the hands of Florida voters severely limits the potential gambling developments after the recent Supreme Court decision. Gambling already faces a litany of regulations, and this would create another hurdle


This amendment is reprinted with permission from the James Madison Institute's 2018 Florida Constitutional Amendment Guide.



Isn’t gambling an addiction, like cigarettes, liquor or herion? This could be an issue, which I don’t see anyone addressing.

Thanks Jamed! Your hate filled comment also helped me decide my vote. Now who’s the retarded moron?

If you vote YES, casino gambling will continue to be monopolized by the seminole and miccosukee that is why they want you to vote yes. They want to prevent anyone other than the tribes to have casinos. A yes vote does not put the casino expansion option in the hands of the voters. If you vote NO, the legislature continues to decide whether casino expansion will happen and it gives small business owners of casino gambling the opportunity to apply for licenses to run a casino, it creates better opportunity and no one gets to monopolize the casino industry.

From what I have read, the Seminoles who control most of the hot casino table games and slots are YES on the Amendment because they know both the process and likelihood that voters going from ballot action to an actual outcome are LONGSHOTS... on the NO side are dog tracks who want the Legislature to keep fighting for their right to bring in slots and table games which means better odds.

Thanks, I was going to vote no until I read the remarks

Same for me! This is a yes vote.

Vote "NO" on this Amendment #3. As a refugee from California, take my word for it, do not give more power to these Blue tax-happy voters. Leave the gambling taxes in the hands of the State Legislator to haggle out deals with the Indian owned Casinos, etc. The portion of the tax money collected that goes to the schools helps keep our school taxes down and that is a good thing. It isn't broke, don't fix it.

Thank you. You just helped me make my decision as a Blue prior Californian

In this state in particular, any power "The People" can take away from the corrupted state legislature is a B-I-G PLUS! Power to "The People"! #VoteBlue #GoGillum

Wow youre retarded... Gillum is an open socialist.... which is corrupt government. He wants to tax everyone to death moron

Only tax the big corporations and the 1%, like the Trumpet and his billionaire friends. Vote for Gollum who cares about the average worker.

Thanks for your hate filled comment. I was going to vote no but your comment filled with name calling changed my mind...Vote yes on 3

If voters want to have say in whether large destination Casinos should be developed in their communities they need to vote yes Casinos only benefit those directly involved in their construction and or ownership. they are NOT an economic development benefit but rather they have a overall negative economic impact on communities. At least if referendum #3 passes there will be a public dialogue on the issues regarding Casinos in the targeted development.. This is preferable than having the lobbyists spread big casino money to politicians to make the decision.

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