Ballot initiative dropped by the Las Vegas Sands for support in Florida
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation has halted its attempts to get a constitutional amendment passed that would enable voters in north Florida to decide whether or not to put casinos on the ballot.
The Sands, who had failed to gather enough signatures to have their initiative placed on the ballot, abandoned their last legal lawsuits against the state on Monday, thereby ending their campaign. According to a report by The News Service of Florida, this is the case.
In order to bring Las Vegas-style casinos to north Florida, the Sands’ political group, the News Service of Florida, spent more than $70 million, according to the publication.
Florida Voters in Charge, in the meanwhile, dropped its appeal while the original case was still pending. In that lawsuit, the organization accused supervisors of elections of sitting on stacks of petitions and challenged signature-matching techniques used by county elections officials.
Consequently, on Friday, the organization filed a notice of voluntary dismissal with Cooper, indicating that it would no longer attempt to have the issue placed on the ballot in 2020.
As reported by Politico, Sarah Bascom, a representative for Florida Voters in Charge, said that their efforts had been hampered by the legal roadblocks they had to negotiate. To get the amendment passed, it was very difficult for the committee and the Seminoles to work together. Against one other, they leveled a slew of very severe charges and counter-accusations against one another.
Allegations of death threats made against employees who were collecting signatures for the ballot proposition were among those made public. According to some, advocates of the measure broke state law by compensating petition gatherers on the basis of how many signatures they got on a petition.
Seminole-affiliated organizations have also been accused of compensating petition gatherers on the basis of how many signatures they collected. This aimed to entice signature gatherers by providing them money incentives, and it garnered at least $40 million from the tribe.
The Sands Corporation’s Ballot Drive is coming to an end
As per the state law, the firm was not permitted to participate in the November election since it did not collect enough signatures by the deadline of February 1.
According to the News Service of Florida, a lawsuit has been filed by the organization Florida Voters in Charge in an effort to extend the deadline for submitting ballots. Later, the organization made the decision to abandon its appeal. It then filed a voluntary dismissal notice in Leon County Circuit Court on Friday, thereby ending the case.
Rob Goldstein, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, made a brief mention of the petition during a conference call with investors held earlier this year.
As for the condition in the basement, Goldstein characterized it as “tough.”
Sarah Bascom, the spokesperson for the Florida Voters in Charge group, released a statement last week in which she discussed her organization’s mission. According to her, “we have begun the process of disbanding the committee and its work for the upcoming election cycle in 2022.” According to a report by The News Service of Florida, this is the case.
Major legalized states:
There are too many “barriers” to success.
When the petition from Las Vegas Sands was delivered in Florida last year, it was one of two related to online gambling that were disseminated in the state amid a politically charged environment. DraftKings and FanDuel were among the companies who backed a proposal to allow digital gambling across the entire state.
This was accomplished without the platforms in question being linked with the Seminole Tribe, yet that petition was also dismissed. Prior to the Feb. 2 deadline, Florida Education Partners, the company in charge of circulating the petition, made the decision to suspend its activities completely.
There were significant challenges for both sides to overcome, not just in terms of timing, but also in terms of dealing with the Seminole Tribe. It has now gained complete control of gambling in the state of Florida.
As part of a deal with the state that was signed this spring to enable statewide mobile wagering, the tribe has said that it opposes any expansion of gambling that is not supported by the government of California. It circulated its own petition in an effort to generate support for its proposed accord with the EU.
A federal judge ruled that the agreement was unconstitutional while this was taking place in the meantime. Furthermore, the matter is presently before the Federal Court of Appeals, which implies that mobile sports betting in Florida will continue to be prohibited in the state.
Particularly in the fall of last year, the battle for signatures was a heated and perhaps violent affair. Aside from that, allegations of voter fraud, intimidation, and other illegal activity plagued the election. After everything is said and done, there will be no gambling-related measures on the ballot in Florida in 2022, according to the latest projections. In the meanwhile, neither Las Vegas Sands nor the commercial operators have said if they would try to have another referendum proposition on the ballot in 2024.
What Will the Sands Do Now That This Has Happened?
Bascom declined to say if the group will try their luck again in 2024 when asked. This is a reference to a law that was passed in Florida in 2019. It states that it is unlawful to compensate signature collectors for ballot initiative petitions depending on the number of signatures they gather.
In Florida, ballot petitions are only valid for one calendar year from the date of their filing. This implies that if organizers wanted to relaunch their efforts for the 2024 presidential election, they would have to start from the beginning again from scratch.
A campaign created by the non-profit Florida Education Champions attempted to widen the scope of the state’s upcoming sports betting debut in order to attract more customers. There was an arrangement reached with the Seminole Tribe that allowed the tribe’s Hard Rock Digital platform to serve as the state’s exclusive mobile sports betting platform. This goes above and beyond what was previously said.