Florida voters aren't sure if they want Las Vegas-style casinos in the state, but they are certain they don't want Tallahassee to make the decision, according to a new poll by the Tampa Bay Times, The Miami Herald and other news organizations released late Sunday.
A staggering 81 percent of likely Florida voters surveyed last week said they believe that any proposed changes to state gambling laws should be decided in a statewide referendum. Only 8 percent were against it.
Voters were about evenly split over the question of whether the state should expand gambling to permit Las Vegas-style casinos. Of those surveyed Jan. 24-26, 44 percent opposed new gambling and 42 percent said they support it. The numbers are within the poll's margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
"There is a clear division in the state with a majority in Southeast Florida in favor, while every other region is nearly evenly divided,'' said Brad Coker, director of the nonpartisan Jacksonville-based Mason Dixon Polling and Research.