Florida Supreme Court To Look At Casino Expansion Effort

Florida Supreme Court To Look At Casino Expansion Effort

On Friday, the attorney general of the state of Florida asked the state’s high court to look at a proposed casino expansion plan.

Attorney General Ashley Moody requested the Florida Supreme Court to look at a proposed constitutional amendment that if enacted would lead to Las Vegas-style casino gaming in North Florida. Existing gaming facilities could add traditional casino games to their respective offerings.

The proposal has the backing of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which has tried unsuccessfully for years to bring one of its Las Vegas-esque casino properties to the Sunshine State. Sands had previously looked at South Florida.

If it moves forward and acquires the necessary number of signatures, the proposal could appear on the ballot in November of this year, according to a report from FOX 35 Orlando.

More than half of roughly 900,000 signatures need to be had, per the report.

Sands has committed a reported $27 million for the proposal, which is opposed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which for the most part controls casino-style gambling in the state, with the exception of slots and poker. Sand reportedly could seek casino-style gaming in Jacksonville.

The high court’s review will look at the clarity of the proposed ballot question, among other requirements, to move forward and appear before voters.

According to the American Gaming Association, Florida is currently home to 15 casinos, which generate more than $3 billion annually in gaming win. The seven tribal casinos generate more than $2.5 billion annually, the vast majority of the total. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is the only tribe in the state authorized to offer Class III gaming.

If successful, the Florida Casino Gaming Expansion Initiative would, according to Ballotpedia, “expand casino gaming in Florida by allowing businesses with active cardroom licenses to offer casino gaming as long as they are (a) located 130 miles in a straight line away from any of the seven Seminole tribal casinos and (b) expend $250 million in capital investments (new development and construction costs on the gaming complex) within three years after submitting a notice of commencement of casino gaming.”