2014 Legislative Session Winners: Disney and No Casinos

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Every year when there’s no expansion of gambling, it is a win for No Casinos, and also for Disney. The 2014 session began with what seemed like a perfect context for gaming expansion. And ended with nothing but a faint glimmer of hope for casino allies thinking forward to next year.

No Casinos operated a flawless, well-tuned lobbying strategy, and with Disney aboard, ably thwarted some equally powerful foes — foes like Genting, Las Vegas Sands, parimutuels, and more.

 It will get easier for the anti-casino crowd with Andy Gardiner as Senate president next year. And, as I have argued, casinos gained some strategic edges this year due to blunders by the Scott administration.  

No doubt, having a 29-person lobby team helped No Casinos frustrate opponents. Among these, some big names: Mercer Fearington; the Johnson & Blanton firm; Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate & Webb; Randy Enwright; Tom Gallagher; Dan Pollock; Liberty Partners; and more.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.