Gaming Questions

There is one very specific question on the ballot in Palm Beach and Lee County at this u p c o m i n g November election. In Palm Beach voters will be asked to decide if slot machines should be allowed at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. In Lee County voters will decide if slot machines should be permitted at the Naples-Ft. Myers Dog Track. In both instances voters know that slot machines will be limited to only these specific facilities, and in both instances the passage of the measure does not guarantee installation of the machines. In fact the Florida Attorney General has opined that the results are essentially meaningless, and it would take an act of the Florida Legislature to allow for gaming at either one of the two facilities in question.

This raises two interesting points. First of all if voters decide an issue, shouldn’t that be a mandate to follow the wishes of the people? If voters want slots at a specific location in Palm Beach or Lee County then install them. Conversely, if the people vote against the machines then honor their request. Is it not the job of the legislature to implement the will of the people? Secondly how would the voters on Miami Beach react to a measure that specifically details exactly where slot machines can be installed and restricts their presence to only this location? Some day we might find out.

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