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Florida Slot Machines, Amendment 4 (2004)

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The Florida Slot Machines Amendment, also known as Amendment 4, was an initiated constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2004 election ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

The amendment added Article X, Section 23 of the Florida Constitution to allow Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to decide whether to legalize slot machines in existing racing facilities.[1]

Aftermath

The amendment was originally labeled as Article X, Section 19, but renumbered to avoid conflict with another Article X, Section 19 in the Florida Constitution.[2]

Election results

Florida Amendment 4 (2004)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 3,631,261 50.83%
No3,512,18149.17%

Results via: the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections

Text of measure

The ballot title read:

Authorizes Miami-Dade and Broward County Voters to Approve Slot Machines in Parimutuel Facilities[1][3]

The ballot summary read:

Authorizes Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to hold referenda on whether to authorize slot machines in existing, licensed parimutuel facilities (thoroughbred and harness racing, greyhound racing, and jai alai) that have conducted live racing or games in that county during each of the last two calendar years before effective date of this amendment. The Legislature may tax slot machine revenues, and any such taxes must supplement public education funding statewide. Requires implementing legislation.[1][3]

The fiscal note was as follows:

This amendment alone has no fiscal impact on government. If slot machines are authorized in Miami-Dade or Broward counties, governmental costs associated with additional gambling will increase by an unknown amount and local sales tax-related revenues will be reduced by $5 million to $8 million annually. If the Legislature also chooses to tax slot machine revenues, state tax revenues from Miami-Dade and Broward counties combined would range from $200 million to $500 million annually.[4][3]

Constitutional changes

The text of the amendment read:

SECTION 19. SLOT MACHINES –

(a) After voter approval of this constitutional amendment, the governing bodies of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties each may hold a county-wide referendum in their respective counties on whether to authorize slot machines within existing, licensed parimutuel facilities (thoroughbred and harness racing, greyhound racing, an d jai-alai) that have conducted live racing or games in that county during each of the last two calendar years before the effective date of this amendment. If the voters of such county approve the referendum question by majority vote, slot machines shall be authorized in such parimutuel facilities. If the voters of such county by majority vote disapprove the referendum question, slot machines shall not be so authorized, and the question shall not be presented in another referendum in that county for at least two years.

(b) In the next regular Legislative session occurring after voter approval of this constitutional amendment, the Legislature shall adopt legislation implementing this section and having an effective date no later than July 1 of the year following voter approval of this amendment. Such legislation shall authorize agency rules for implementation, and may include provisions for the licensure and regulation of slot machines. The Legislature may tax slot machine revenues, and any such taxes must supplement public education funding statewide.

(c) If any part of this section is held invalid for any reason, the remaining portion or portions shall be severed from the invalid portion and given the fullest possible force and effect.

(d) This amendment shall become effective when approved by vote of the electors of the state. [1]

Campaign contributions

The "Yes on 4" committee dramatically outspent the "No on 4" group. Those in favor of the proposition spent $15,512,278 while those opposed spent $303,223.

The pro-Amendment 4 committee was called Floridians for a Level Playing Field. The group's major donors were:

  • Calder Race Court, $4,465,627
  • Isle of Capri Casino, $3,410,000
  • West Flagler Associates, $2,296,398
  • Gulfstream Park Racing, $1,500,000
  • Hartman & Tyner, $1,460,000
  • Hollywood Greyhound Track, $820,000
  • Flagler Greyhound Track, $585,000
  • Racing Corp of West Virginia, $475,000[5]

Path to the ballot

  • The initiative was sponsored by Floridians For a Level Playing Field.
  • The initiative petition required 488,722 signatures and 526,718 were found valid.[1]

See also

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