Recently updated on May 12th, 2017
New reports have surfaced saying that Walt Disney has been involved in the efforts to stop the proposed gambling and casino expansion in Florida. In total, Walt Disney has reportedly donated $250 000 to lobbying efforts to stop more casinos in Florida.
Walt Disney Donates to Lobby Group
The $250 000 donation was made from Disney Worldwide Services, which is a subsidiary of the media and entertainment firm, and was paid to Voters in Charge. Voters in Charge is a Tallahassee-based lobbying firm whose goal is to make sure that voters in Florida decide on the gambling expansion, rather than the politicians in the government.
Documents for the donation were filed with the state of Florida on April 3rd, which revealed the $250 000 donation. The donation was made from Disney’s Lake Buena Vista address in Florida, which is the address of Disney World
Currently, there are two lobbying firms that are working to halt the gambling expansion. Voters in Charge and No Casinos in Florida are trying to get a gambling amendment placed on the state’s 2018 ballot. If they are successful, this will essentially stall any talks about expanding gambling in the state. In order to succeed in their mission, the two firms would need to get at least 100 000 valid signatures on petitions.
Florida Gambling License Expired
As it stands right now, the gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe and the Florida government expired back in 2015, and a new agreement has not been reached yet. The tribe has continued its casino operations in Florida and continued with paying taxes and the agreed revenue share to the state.
However, technically this constitutes illegal gambling operations. As the Seminole casinos offer slots and table games, which makes them a Class III operation, which requires a valid license with the state. In order for a new agreement to be signed, the two chambers of Florida’s state legislature must reach an agreement. Unfortunately, the two chambers do not see eye-to-eye on how to proceed at this time.