Amendment 3

Voter Control of Gambling in Florida

Source: Citizen initiative

Quick Summary: Requires approval of any new casino gambling through a citizen-initiative constitutional amendment, effectively barring the Legislature from making those gambling decisions by passing laws.

Full Summary: This amendment would require a constitutional amendment, through a citizen initiative only, for any new casino gambling in Florida. A citizen initiative is the process where signatures are gathered to place an amendment on the ballot.

Amendment 3 would effectively stop the Legislature from either passing laws to allow casino gambling or placing its own casino amendments on the ballot. It also would preclude the CRC, which meets every 20 years, from putting casino amendments on the ballot.

If this amendment is approved, for example, a gambling company that wanted to open new casinos in Florida would have to get hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, then mount an expensive statewide campaign and get approval from 60 percent of voters.

Amendment 3 defines casino gambling as games such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno, as well as an array of electronic and video games of chance.

Under current law, the Legislature could vote to approve new casinos with a simple majority, although such legislative efforts in recent years – including this year – have mostly failed.

The amendment doesn’t change the Legislature’s authority over dog- and horse-racing, the Lottery or fantasy sports. Nor does it affect casinos owned and operated by Native-American tribes. It also doesn’t hinder the state from taxing or regulating any type of gambling, including casinos.

Various iterations of constitutional amendments to approve casinos appeared on the ballot in 1978, 1986 and 1994, each of them defeated. In 2004, voters narrowly approved an amendment allowing slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities – dog- and horse-racing tracks – in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

If the casino amendment on November’s ballot is approved, it will take effect immediately.

A YES vote on Amendment 3 would:

  • Require that voters approve a constitutional amendment through citizen initiative to authorize any new casino gambling in Florida, essentially stripping that authority from the Legislature.
  • Preclude constitutional approval of casinos through other means, including amendments offered by the Legislature or by the CRC.
  • Continue to allow the Legislature to approve other types of non-casino gambling, such as poker rooms, bingo, lotteries and fantasy sports.
  • Allow the Legislature to oversee, regulate and tax any casino-type gambling that voters approve through a constitutional amendment.
  • Not affect the state’s ability to negotiate casino agreements with Native-American


Disney Worldwide Services; Seminole Tribe of Florida; No Casinos Inc.; Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association; League of Women Voters of Florida; Florida Chamber of Commerce

LWVFL Postion

Support. It restricts casino gambling and allows Florida voters to make any decisions regarding increases of casino gambling, consistent with League position against gambling.

A NO vote on Amendment 3 would:

  • Continue to allow casino gambling either through new laws passed by the Legislature or through various types of constitutional amendments.


P.O. Box 1911 Orlando, FL 32802-1911

Orlando Web Design by CREATE180 Design