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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dormant 'No Casinos' group is revived to oppose emerging casino gambling legislation



GamblingThe full-throttled push to bring casino gambling to South Florida has prompted the head of the No Casinos political committee to resurrect his organization to oppose expanded gambling in Florida.

John Sowinski, an Orlando-based public releations consultant and president of the Orlando-based "No Casinos Inc." activated the dormant organization late last week as legislators announced they are drafting a bill to offer three Las Vegas-style casino licenses in Miami Dade and Broward as part of a push to bring resort-style casinos to Florida.

The anti-gambling group raised $1.5 million in 1994 and successfully fought an attempt to amend the Constitution to bring casinos to Florida that year. It did not succeed in persuading Florida voters to reject the constitutional amendment to allow slot machine gaming at parimutuels in 2004. Voters approved that effort by 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.

This year, No Casinos will partner with law enforcement, faith-based organizations and business groups to oppose the legislation, Sowinski said. Traditionally, Orlando's theme parks have been a big opponent to the expansion of gambling in Florida as have Central Florida business organizations.

"This is a different battle, in that it's in the legislature," Sowinski said. "But the only chance it has to pass is if people in Tallahassee think they can do it in the dark of night -- without the public paying attention. Our goal is to make sure it'sgets attention." More here

[Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2011 7:37pm]


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