New poll shows voter support for destination casinos in South Florida

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There are some surprising new polling numbers on the gaming issue in a survey just in from the field. The poll, shared exclusively with SaintPetersblog, was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies earlier this week for a statewide association. The poll examined many of the issues that could be part of the upcoming legislative session, as well as potential ballot initiatives that voters will decide this fall. 

The numbers that really stick out in this new poll revolve around gambling. The new numbers show that voters approve by a healthy majority the development of up to three destinations resort casinos in Broward or Miami-Dade counties — a very clear indication that voters statewide support the destination resort casino concept for South Florida.  

The poll also gives more evidence that legislative leadership is in sync with the public on a couple of the other key points in the gaming debate in Tallahassee.

Speaker Will Weatherford has made it clear that any future expansion of gambling must be tied to voter approval through a statewide ballot amendment – this new poll shows voters clearly agree with Weatherford. In fact, the new numbers show that over 70% of poll respondents support the concept of a statewide referendum on future gaming expansion.

And incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner has been clear and consistent stressing the need for the establishment of a Florida State Gaming Commission WITH TEETH that would oversee and regulate all functions of gaming in Florida. Gardner, too has the support of Florida voters, with the gaming commission concept also showing over 70% support in this new poll.  

How powerful are those new numbers? Well the only other issue in the poll showing 70% support among statewide voters is – you guessed it – support for the medical marijuana amendment that voters will decide on this fall.  

Bottom line: Florida voters are looking to  state leaders to take meaningful action on the gaming issue – the proof is clear and in the numbers.  

Again, the poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on February 9-11. It was of likely Florida voters and a has a margin of error of +/- 4.%. 

When the full polling document is received, this story will be updated.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.