Two constitutional amendments proposed and developed by a political organization that is backed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. This would allow casino gambling throughout the northern section of Florida and Jacksonville.
According to records filed at the Federal Election Commission, Las Vegas Sands, whose assets include The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, put $17 million into a political group named Florida Voters in Charge on 28th June.
The changes might be seen from November 2022 during the ballot statewide, following a comprehensive new state compact with the Seminole Tribe for its casinos in the state’s southern portion.
Sarah Basco, the group spokesperson, said that the Florida Voters in Charge is looking at solutions that do not violate the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s recently enacted compact/revenue-sharing agreement. The committee is looking at the two proposed ballot initiatives, which aim to bring casino gambling and the associated economic growth to North Florida.
Florida Politics initially reported the changes on Wednesday, which does not mention Jacksonville or any other city as a potential location for a casino if a statewide referendum permitting gambling expansion passes.
However, one of the proposed changes states that firms with valid Cardroom licenses can go ahead with the casino gambling if located 130 miles away from one of the Seminole Tribe’s seven Florida casinos.
On Monument Road in Jacksonville, which is more than 130 miles from any of the Seminole Tribe’s casinos, a Best bet poker facility with a Cardroom license is located.
For years, it has been the busiest Cardroom in the state. The Park Avenue in Orange Park has a Bestbet, which features a poker room.
The proposed change would not restrict a casino to the present location of a Cardroom but allows the licensee to relocate to another area within the same county as long as the transfer is completed by 31st December 2025.
Furthermore, the casino needs to invest at least $250 million on a gaming facility that is not limited to the casino floor and ancillary retail, entertainment, convention, banking, and culinary amenities.
The second amendment proposed by Florida Charge Voters allows three other casinos within 100 miles of any Seminole Tribe casino. The Florida Gaming Control Commission will further issue licenses for every application it receives, with each casino requiring a minimum investment of $500 million.
Since the mailing address is in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Voters in Charge got a local connection. Erika Alba, the committee’s treasurer, and Kevin Hyde, the deputy treasurer, are both Foley & Lardner’s attorneys in Jacksonville.
Voters in Duval County have been supporting the casino expansion. Bestbet’s owners spent more than $2 million on the 2016 county voter referendum, which received 54 percent of the vote to enable Best bet Jacksonville to expand to 2,000 slot machines.
This year, the Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis passed gaming legislation approving a casino contract with the Seminole Tribe. This agreement will further push the tribe to oversee the growth of online sports betting in collaboration with parimutuel companies like Best bet.
The Seminole Tribe’s casinos are located in Clewiston, Okeechobee, and Coconut Creek in the state’s southern region.