Fla. betting amendment opposed by Fins passes

NFL

Florida voters on Tuesday approved an amendment that strips the state legislature of the power to expand gambling, including sports betting.

Amendment 3 says the only way casino gambling can be approved is through a statewide initiative placed on the ballot by citizen petition. Exceptions were made for casinos on Indian reservations.

Among those strongly backing the measure were The Walt Disney Co. and the Seminole Tribe of Indians, which owns casinos in the Fort Lauderdale and Tampa areas.

Opponents included some horse track and dog track operators. They accused Disney and the Seminoles of not wanting competition for tourist dollars. They said the decision on whether to allow casinos should be left to each county’s voters.

Other opponents of the amendment said it would “potentially close the door” on sports betting legalization in the state.

The Miami Dolphins sent out a tweet Monday highlighting their concerns over Amendment 3, claiming that if the legislation passes, it “would effectively block any chance for sports betting in Florida.” The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also lobbied against the amendment, as did online betting sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings.

The measure was placed on the ballot by petition.

Information from ESPN’s David Purdum and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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