Palm Beach County Slot Machine Question (November 2012)

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A Palm Beach County Slot Machine Question was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in Palm Beach County, where it was approved.

This measure allowed slot machines to be placed at licensed pari-mutuel facilities. County commissioners see this as a way to stay competitive with neighboring counties which may get casinos in the next few years.[1] The Palm Beach Kennel Club is the only licensed facility in the county which could have the slot machines. If approved, it is estimated that the slots could bring $1.8 million to the county per year. The slots also would not be set up until July 2015 as there is an exclusive agreement between the state and the local Seminole indian tribe to operate gambling facilities.[2]

The county commission officially placed this measure on the ballot on December 20. Though many spoke out against the issues which could arise from casinos, the vote was 6-1 in favor of putting it on the ballot.[3]

Even though this measure was approved approved, it is still uncertain if slots will be allowed in the county. The slots would still need to be approved by the Legislature and may yet be ultimately decided upon by the court system. Even though the vote may not implement slots, County officials are still going ahead with it so that if they can set up slots they will already have voter approval.[4]

Election results

Palm Beach County Question 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 297,590 55.65%
No237,18944.35%

Election results from Palm Beach County, Unofficial Election Results Summary


Text of measures

Language on the ballot:

Shall slot machines be authorized within licensed pari-mutuel facilities in Palm Beach County subject to the restrictions of state law? (SELECT ONE ONLY)

YES

NO[5][6]

Support

According to supporters of the question, slot machines would produce more jobs. They also argue that, because 35% of the revenues from slot machines would go to public education trust fund, this question would allow for the increase of education funding.[7]

Opposition

Those who are opposed to allowing slot machines in Palm Beach County argue that the drawback of gambling addiction destroying families and lives is enough to overcome any good from increased jobs or education funds.[7]

Lawsuit

A lawsuit had been filed against this measure, the woman who filed it stated that the vote does not guarantee slots will be installed at the facility in question and therefore misleads residents. The suit was filed against the county commission and county Elections Supervisor.[8]

Another separate lawsuit had also been filed, the Florida Supreme Court dismissed the suit which sought to stop slots at any facility outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The judge noted that the court would not get involved with the issue meaning that slots could potentially be installed at other facilities.[9]

Since the ruling made by the judge in regards to the issue, county lawyers had been trying to get the other lawsuit thrown out as well. County lawyers had stated that the reasoning for the lawsuit, that the measure is unclear and may be just a straw poll, were not valid as the language of the measure is clear and with the recent decision that the courts will not get involved then there is still the opportunity to get slots in the county.[10]

The Boca Raton woman who had originally filed the suit dropped the case voluntarily. The measure now has no issue being on the ballot, but the fact remains that slots are not guaranteed with approval of this measure.[11]

See also


External links


Additional reading

References