Florida isn’t keen on gambling expansion plans as is evident with the results of the mid-term elections. On the other hand, the states of Arkansas and Louisiana seem keener to allow gambling expansions and open a world of opportunities.
Florida voters are in favor of Amendment 3 to the state constitution, which will make the approval of new gambling options more difficult for the legislators. With this amendment, the legislators will have to opt for a statewide referendum and get at least 60% of the votes in order to clear the expansion plans.
The vote was approved by the 71-29 margin, and it was supported by Seminole Tribe of Indians, the only casino operator in the state. The casino likely sided with the proposition to avoid new competition in the state. The Walt Disney Co. also sided with the Seminole Tribe as it doesn’t want any gambling entities near its Disney World resort in the state. A casino in its proximity will most likely spoil the family-friendly environment that the resort intends to create.
The opponents of the Amendment are the racing operators of the state who have been fighting for adding more gambling options in the state as their racing products produce dwindling revenues. Amendment 13 was also approved by the votes which will phase out greyhound racing from the state by 2021. The 11 dog tracks in the state will be allowed to keep their poker rooms. FanDuel and DraftKings, both fantasy sports operators, also tried to work hard against the amendment but couldn’t succeed.
The NFL team Miami Dolphins tweeted to warn the voters that they could “potentially close the door” for legalized sports betting if they voted yes. The tweet went in vain and was later deleted but not before it was noticed as a clear signal of the sporting team’s position on sports wagering.
Arkansas, on the other hand, adopted a more flexible approach to gambling. Voters approved Issue 4 with a 54% vote, which will allow the development of two casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties. The Southland greyhound track of West Memphis and Hot Springs’ Oaklawn horseracing track will also be expanding gaming options. The legislators will also be able to regulate sports wagering now.
Louisiana followed suit as voters favored the operation of daily fantasy sports in the state. However, it will only be allowed in counties where a majority is in favor of the change. This means that 47 in 64 parishes including Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans will now allow fantasy sports. A new DFS regulation is being expected soon.