Florida considers slots statewide

Are you kidding me? Today’s Sun Sentinel reports that the Senate Finance & Tax committee approved a plan allowing existing pari-mutuel permit holders to add 1500 video slots.

Currently only Broward, which the entire state was allowed to vote on, allows gambling. Finding themselves short of cash and facing the property tax issue, legislators look at this as a cash cow solution. No one has indicated where the money will go, but of course, the potential for teacher salaries and reducing property tatxes are being tossed out to entice everyone to buy into it.

How did this happen? Lobbyists. The Associated Industries of Florida, the largest business lobby in the state, put their muscle into it.
Businesses are suffering from high taxes and a cooling economy. What better way to get things rolling that new construction (and all the resulting business down the road) for these gambling venues?

Wake up people. Where is all the cash coming from for gambling? Where are the profits going?
Broward venues are not targeting tourists as their primary customer. They want the local residents and that will cause a problem down the road. Either not enough people will go, or more likely, too many people who cannot afford it will be throwing their money away. Sure there will be some winners, but it’s a fact, more will be lost than won.

I’m all for gambling as entertainment. But I think it is best in our country when available on a limited basis. We need to control access just like cigarettes. My kids must see at least 50 ads a week inviting them to gamble. The ads are on billboards, taxis, TV, newspaper. Ads everywhere and they are unavoidable. I’m happy to get out of the area to avoid being inundated with these ads. (And yes, I know the indians are raking it in, and putting their name on everything to promote gambling, but why we don’t share in that pie is our leaders fault. )

Should we spread gambling? Absolutely not. Remember, gambling won out in Broward by only a small margin with the entire state voting. Many votes outside the area were cast for yes because they figured if Broward wants it, let them have it. Does everyone want gambling in their backyard? I doubt it.


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