The Seminole Tribe of Florida has responded to attempts by the Las Vegas Sands-backed lobbying group, Florida Voters in Charge, to change state law and allow non-tribal entities to operate casinos.
The Seminole Tribe, which is the state’s leading operator, has gone on the offensive against this proposal, backing a group claiming it “brazenly” violates Florida election law.
As reported by Gaming America, the legislation, which requires 891,589 signatures to appear on the November 2022 ballot, reached the 222,898 signatures required for judicial review on December 10.
The initiative is led by a committee named the Florida Voters in Charge, who hope the proposal will reach the required signatures by the February 1 deadline. Currently, the proposal stands at 425,523 valid signatures, as reported by the state Division of Elections website.
Specifically, the law change, titled “Limited Authorization of Casino Gaming,” would allow state lawmakers to permite games such as blackjack, roulette and slots at three new non-tribal properties, altering the gaming landscape of the Sunshine State.
This initiative is reportedly bankrolled by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which has donated over $50m to the group, aiming to open a casino in Jacksonville, in northeastern Florida.
As things stand, the Seminole Tribe has backed Standing Up for Florida, a group in direct opposition to Florida Voters in charge, with the hope of seeing this new proposal defeated.
Standing Up for Florida is represented by William N. Shepherd, Jeffery M. Schacknow, and Henry A. Moreno of Holland & Knight LLP.
In its attempts to discredit the proposal, Standing Up for Florida stated: "The Constitution of Florida is under attack. The counter-defendants' illicit conduct is an attack on Florida's election integrity."