Seminole Tribe, Disney Put $1.5 Million Into Bet Against Gambling Expansion

Nov 13, 2017

The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Disney Worldwide Services spent $1.55 million in October to back a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder to expand gambling in the state, according to a newly filed finance report.

The money went to the political committee Voters In Charge, which is trying to get the proposal on the November 2018 ballot.

The Seminole Tribe, which operates casinos in various parts of the state, contributed $1 million in October, while Disney added $550,000, the report shows. In all, the committee had raised $4.1 million as of Oct. 31, while spending about $3.44 million.

Voters In Charge had submitted 391,783 valid petition signatures to the state as of Monday afternoon and needs to submit 766,200 to get on the ballot.

The initiative would change the state Constitution and give voters the "exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling" in the state.

It would require voter approval of casino-style games in the future. “Our message of giving Florida voters, not politicians, the ultimate authority on gambling decisions is resonating throughout Florida,” Voters In Charge Chairman John Sowinski said in a prepared statement Monday.

“We are on target to complete our petition drive by year's end, after which we will turn our full attention to building voter support for our amendment through a broad grassroots effort and robust statewide campaign.”