Track Times Today

Amendment 3: A Well-funded Con Job That Could Destroy Horse Racing in Florida
Monday, October 8, 2018


    There is no way to look at Amendment 3 as anything but an anti-gambling measure. 

    Yet, the main financial supporter - to the tune of nearly $20 million so far - is the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Yes, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the same folks that we all know already conduct the largest casino gambling operation in the state and have for many years. In fact, the revenue from the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock Casino in Tampa - by itself - dwarfs the revenue of all the pari-mutuel facilities in Florida combined, meaning the billions that the Seminole Tribe makes from its six other casinos in Florida is just icing on its already gigantic cake.

    So, inquiring minds might ask: Why would Florida’s largest gambling company be supporting an anti-gambling constitutional amendment?

    The answer to this question is easy: It is a universal truism that no one is more vehemently opposed to any expansion of gambling than those already in the gambling business. Here, the Seminole Tribe, through the clever wording of Amendment 3, has dealt with its hypocritical stance on gambling by specifically EXEMPTING itself from all of the amendment's anti-gambling provisions. As one of the creators of Amendment 3, this was rather easy for the Seminole Tribe to accomplish.

    Since Amendment 3’s anti-gambling provisions were intentionally designed by the Seminole Tribe to apply ONLY to the state’s pari-mutuel facilities, while leaving the Seminole Tribes’ enormous gambling empire intact, the most obvious impact from the adoption of Amendment 3 is that it will perpetuate the monopoly the Seminole Tribe already has on gambling in Florida. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that the Seminole Tribe already has it ALL, and now it wants even more.

    More importantly to anyone involved in Florida’s once prospering thoroughbred industry, if Amendment 3 passes, the industry’s current downward spiral will become a death spiral. Just look at California, another state where gambling is 100% controlled by Indian tribes. Within the last few years, Hollywood Park and Bay Meadows were permanently closed, and Golden Gate Fields is on a death watch. Why is that? Because the California tribes, with their millions (or billions) in campaign contributions, have blocked the race tracks from ever receiving a slot machine license. This, in turn, has caused the tracks to be unable to compete with California’s many Indian casinos.

    If this sounds familiar, there is a reason for it: Exactly what has happened in California has started to happen in Florida. We have already lost Hialeah Park as a thoroughbred track because it couldn’t compete, and now Calder has announced it will no longer conduct thoroughbred racing after 2020.

    We can't let what happened to thoroughbred racing in California happen in Florida.

    While Amendment 3 may be cleverly worded to make it sound both pro-citizen and pro-democratic, in reality it’s just the opposite. Amendment 3 is simply another special interest CON JOB - the same as the bogus Solar Energy Amendment of 2016 that was soundly defeated once the voters figured out that only the big power companies, i.e., FP&L, Florida Power and Duke Energy, benefited from the amendment’s adoption, and not the citizens as the pro-Solar amendment propaganda asserted.

    As with the Solar scam, one can search all the pro-Amendment 3 propaganda and not find any reference to the fact that one of the amendment's sponsors and primary supporters (to the tune of nearly $20 million), is Florida’s largest and most profitable casino operator, the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

    Amendment 3 is totally misleading and hypocritical, yet very typical of the way sponsors of scam amendments like this one try to trick the voters.

    If Amendment 3 is adopted, the Seminole Tribe and its 4,000 multimillionaire members will become even richer - while everyone associated with the billion-dollar thoroughbred industry will be obliterated.

    Amendment 3 is nothing but a well-funded, anti-competitive CON JOB. Save the thoroughbred horse racing industry in Florida by voting NO on Amendment 3.

















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