A new study says people
in Florida, even the Orlando area want expanded gambling options. The poll is
part of the upcoming effort in the next legislative session to expand
gambling options in Florida. Dave Sackett of the Tarrance Group conducted the
study, and found people across the state in favor of allowing resort casinos
here. The numbers were in the 50s in North Florida, but higher as the survey
Even in Orange County it was at 62% and in the Orlando media market it was 62% favoring it and only 38 percent opposed
People are questioning both the methods and the numbers, since the study was paid for by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, a large casino outfit that would love to have a Florida destination. State Rep. Linda Stewart of Orlando is one of them.
"A poll is a poll, depending on who is paying for it, and I think if I had seen a poll that was more independent, I might have maybe looked at it a little closer," she said.
Stewart says she will oppose the expansion of gambling in the state, especially if it allows any type of casino in the metro Orlando area. She's concerned about our reputation.
"It's just not for the United States, it matters worldwide whether or not we are going to remain that branded friendly, family destination, and we have to keep that as our bread and butter," she said.
Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger agreed, telling Fox 35:
"We oppose the legalization of so-called destination resort casinos because this major expansion of gambling is inconsistent with Florida's reputation as a family-friendly destination and with efforts to diversify Florida's economy."
Regardless of who paid for the survey, the numbers should be an eye opener for those that think it will be easy to stop an expansion of gambling in the state. Fifty-seven percent statewide approve of using gambling revenue to improve the state and 61 percent saying they would favor resort style casino gambling if it brought more jobs to the state. We included the results of that study to paint a full picture of how the questions were asked.