Analysis and Opinion
From the League of Women Voters
Editor’s Note: This is a 12-day series that looks at each amendment the League of Women Voters analyzed and made a recommendation. Today their analysis and recommendation are on Amendment 13.
Bans wagering on any type of dog racing, notably greyhounds, as of Dec. 31, 2020, while continuing to allow dog tracks to continue offering other types of gambling, including poker rooms.
This is primarily a gambling issue, and the League has held a consistent position against gambling.
This amendment would ban wagering on dog racing in Florida. Dog racing – usually greyhounds – is one of several “pari-mutuel” wagering sports in Florida. Others include horse racing and jai-alai. Florida has 12 of the nation’s 18 dog-racing tracks.
Under Amendment 13, dog tracks would be allowed to use their permits to host other pari-mutuel sports. Also, the amendment waives a state requirement that tracks hold greyhound races in order to continue operating poker rooms or slot machines as part of their pari-mutuel licenses (a CRC analysis of this proposal is here).
The amendment requires the Legislature to set criminal and civil penalties for violating the dog-racing ban. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which regulates pari-mutuels, estimated an annual loss of $1 million in tax revenue if voters approve the ban.
If approved, the amendment takes effect immediately but allows greyhound racing to continue until Dec. 31, 2020.