A South Florida pastor has called for a rally to protest a bill filed by two Florida Republicans that would allow Las Vegas-style casino resorts in South Florida, while the business lobby group Associated Industries of Florida announced its support for the casino bill.
Mark Boykin, the senior pastor of Church of All Nations in Boca Raton, and members of C.A.G.E. (Citizens Against Gambling Expansion) will hold a rally next week calling on state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff to stop the gambling expansion in Florida.
The bill filed by Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, and state Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, would, according to The Miami Herald, allow three “full Las Vegas-style games” in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The Herald adds that “casinos would pay 10 percent tax on net revenues,” “less than the 35 percent tax rate now imposed on the revenues of the state’s eight pari-mutuels with slot machine licenses in South Florida.”
Boykin, who says he voted for Bogdanoff, states in a press release issued late Thursday: “I believe that everything that happens in Vegas, must stay in Vegas, and we do not need the kind of crime, prostitution, and others evils associated with gambling to expand in Florida.”
Boykin adds: “It’s a Florida nightmare to think that politicians like Senator Bogdanoff want to bring down a 10.6 percent unemployment and a $2.6 billion budget cuts this year, by bringing Las Vegas-style gambling to Florida. It won’t work and it will hurt our economy and more importantly our family-friendly vacation status.”
The Bogdanoff/Fresen casino bill also has the state’s business groups at odds.
Associated Industries of Florida supports the legislative proposal; the Florida Chamber of Commerce opposes it.
Associated Industries wrote Thursday that passage of the bill will be among its “2012 legislative priorities.”
The release adds that Associated Industries “plans to aggressively lobby for legislation that will allow up to three destination resorts in South Florida, create up to 100,000 jobs for Floridians and bring billions in revenue to the state.”
The release also explains that Associated Industries has launched a new campaign, “More Jobs for Florida,” ”dedicated to the destination resort issue.”