FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 27, 2018

Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

 

MIAMI – This Amendment would require a statewide vote on each and every new casino in Florida, regardless of the community they are proposed. Let’s take a look at it a bit closer.

Voter Control of Gambling in Florida – 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.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

PREAMBLE

Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.

People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

 

V. VICE LAWS

  1. Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.

 

DISCUSSION

On the surface of it, Amendment 3 looks great. Shouldn’t we, the citizens, make personal choices about how we choose to live our lives; how we choose to spend our money? Whether we choose to gamble, go to a movie or rent a canoe, we own our money and we own the choice how to spend it. That’s what this amendment should be saying. It doesn’t.

If approved by the voters this November, Amendment 3 allows voters across the state to remove the choice from local citizens seeking a new casino in their community. This Amendment requires a statewide vote, a process that often takes years and may cost millions of dollars. Such a process drives up the costs to establish a casino in a community, driving down the incentive to even pursue them. Even if a local community seeks the construction jobs, operations jobs and service jobs produced by a casino, voters from throughout the state can stop them.

Amendment 3 protects gambling on Seminole tribal lands. Not surprisingly, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is one of the top financiers for this Amendment. This suggests they want to preserve their near-exclusive rights to offer casinos to the public while making it very hard for any other community to have that choice.

The Libertarian Party of Florida believes gambling is a personal choice which should be freely available in communities that desire it and where business-people choose to provide that opportunity. In and of itself, gambling is not harmful to others. There are some folks who have addiction issues or some with criminal intent, but providing and participating in gambling is a free-will choice of responsible adults. This Amendment serves to establish major pitfalls in the roadway to accessible and commercially-viable gambling in the state of Florida. In effect, it serves to constrain gambling, not allow citizens to choose to have it. Therefore, we recommend a NO vote on Amendment 3.

– By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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