No Casinos to premiere anti-gambling documentary, “Pushing Luck” tonight

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The anti-gambling group NoCasinos.org is promoting a film premiering tonight that takes a “clear-eyed look” at the evils of gaming.   

In a statement, No Casinos presented a 90-second trailer for Pushing Luck, a short documentary that shines a critical light on plans to expand gambling casinos throughout the state. The trailer can also be found on YouTube.

In Miami, Atlantic City, Chicago and beyond, filmmakers interviewed recovering addicts, former industry insiders, political leaders and noted academics to examine the economic and social perils of expanded gambling.

According to No Casinos, Pushing Luck “exposes the roots of gambling in Florida, the nature of the industry that pushes it and its consequences for American social, political, and economic life.”

Florida lawmakers expect to consider expanding gambling during the 2014 session, looking at everything from building mega-casino resorts to expanding the number of slot machines at pari-mutuels.

Gambling grew into a hot legislative issue as the state faces the impending end of an agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which protects the Tribe’s exclusive rights to bring gambling beyond Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.

The Seminole Compact guarantees the Tribe pays the state up to $1 billion over five years, but unless the governor and Legislature renew  the covenant, annual payments will reduce by half when it sunsets in 2015.

Supporters see widespread gambling, including building several destination casinos with Las Vegas-style gaming, as a way to recoup the funds that will be lost after the Compact ends.

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.