Disney Continues to Fight Gambling Expansion in Florida

by Jim Hall

DisneyThe Disney company has spent a pretty penny trying to fight any expansion of gambling in the state of Florida.

Whenever there is talk of an expansion in gambling within a state in the US, there are always opponents. Those opposed to new gaming options might be land-based casinos, tribal groups, religious organizations or other businesses that might affected by any changes to the gambling industry that already exists within a given state. Opponents will use campaigns and legal means to try and stop any advancements of legislations or proposals in order to see their side win. The most recent incident of a big gambling expansion fight comes from the state of Florida. The Disney company has spent a great deal of money to try and stop any new gambling options from being offered in the state.

Disney Spends Big Bucks

The Disney company is very successful and certainly has the finances to back a campaign to oppose any expansion of gambling in the state of Florida, so far, the company has spent at least $750,000 in efforts to stop gambling from expanding. According to the Florida Division of Elections, Disney Worldwide Services spent $500,000 in July giving the money to the Voters in Charge political committee. In April, the committee had received $250,000 from the company.

Overall, it has been reported that Disney has spent $1.15 million in efforts to stop gaming from further being offered in the state. The contributions by Disney accounts for more than 80% of the total contributions provided to the Voters in Charge group.

What Are They Fighting For?

You may be wondering why Disney is spending so much money to fight gambling expansion in Florida. The committee that Disney is supporting is working on an initiative for the ballot which will give voters of the state the ability to approve or disapprove casino gambling. Currently, politicians are in charge of such decisions. Disney is in support of locals giving approvals or disapproval as they feel that residents will be on their side.

Disney does not want to see casino-style gambling offered in the state as it would spoil the family-friendly epi-center they have created, or so they think. Another group is in on the action alongside Disney, known as No Casinos Inc. This group believes that additional casino gaming will increase the crime rates of the state as well as shut down local businesses due to what the gaming venues will provide.

No Casino Inc. feels that new gaming venues will take away from location restaurants and other shops as casinos will offer these options in-house. The goal is to bring the initiative to the 2018 general election. If the proposal passes, the amendment will provide voters in the state with the exclusive right to decide if casino gambling should be authorized in the state.

Back in April, the ballot proposal was approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Now, the ballot measure will need to have signature support to move forward. Voters in Charge needs to find 766,200 individual signatures in order to see the measure placed on the ballot.

Currently, the signature total is just over 151,000 so the group still has a long way to go to gain the right amount of signatures. Collecting signatures can be a costly venture, so the funds that Disney is providing should come in handy as efforts are made to gain the remaining names needed in order to see the measure placed on the ballot for voting.

It will be interesting to see if the proposal makes the cut and if voters in Florida side with Disney, wanting control of the outcome of gambling expansion in the state and if voters will keep any expansion from happening the future.