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US – Sands invests $17m into Florida casino ballot initiative

By - 16 July 2021

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has spent $17m in a fresh attempt to see commercial casino gaming introduced into Northern Florida, this time financing Florida Voters in Charge, a political committee that presented two proposed constitutional amendments.

Voters In Charge is sponsoring a ballot initiative to give florida voters, not politicians, the exclusive right to approve or disapprove casino gambling.

Committee spokeswoman Sarah Bascom said: “Florida Voters in Charge is exploring options that do not violate the recently passed compact/revenue sharing agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The two proposed ballot initiatives are options we are exploring, specifically focusing on bringing casino gaming and the accompanying economic development to North Florida. We will be sharing more specific details and the committee’s path to the November 2022 ballot in the coming weeks and months.”

Whilst southern Florida would remain exclusively for the Seminole Tribe in Clewiston, Okeechobee, Coconut Creek, Hollywood, Immokalee and Tampa, the proposals call for a minimum distance of at least 130 miles from any of the Seminole Tribe’s seven casinos.

The ballot initiative calls for an investment of at least $250m with casinos also having to offer retail, hotel, entertainment, convention, financial and restaurant facilities.

The second proposal would see three new casinos built at least 100 miles from any owned by the Seminole Tribe, each of which would need an investment of $500m in investment. That proposed amendment does not have any requirements for the new casinos to be tied to businesses holding cardroom licenses.

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