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Commercial builders counter Florida Chamber and endorse resort casinos

Just as the Florida Chamber of Commerce was announcing its opposition to resort casinos last week, the Associated Builders and Contractors’ South Florida Chapter voted unanimously to support the proposal -- and work for its passage.

The trade group, which represents commercial, institutional and industrial contractors including those who are members of the Florida Chamber, see the proposal as a salve to the South Florida economy, said Peter Dyga, president and CEO of ABC South Florida chapter. Their resolution is here: Download ABC Destination Resorts letter

“There is a lot of hope that it would have an impact not just on immediate jobs but on the long term impact on the economy,’’ he said. “A lot of people take a lot of pride in South Florida and believe it would be a natural boon if something like this took off.”

The unanimous vote by the board on Oct. 17 came after several members urged the association’s leadership to take a strong position on the issue, even though the group had already formed its legislative agenda, Dyga said.

“This really started at the grass roots,’’ he said. “There were a couple of skeptics, concerned about the negative things surrounding gambling, but there wasn’t a ‘no’ vote.”

As for the opposition to the measure pledged by the Florida Chamber, whose incoming chairman is Anthony Connelly chief financial officer of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S., Dyga said “the vast majority of our members are in disagreement with the chamber’s position. The more skeptical of them believe the chamber is more heavily influenced by its affiliation with Disney.”

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has joined the Florida Chamber in opposition to the “destination resort” proposal.


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For and Against - For and Against ... The problem here is the economy is not going to improve overnight ... I'll take years and years for South Florida to prosper like it was when housing was at its peak and jobs were available everwhere.

We need Productivity and with this gaming law we'll create all the things the State needs to improve economic conditions. It all eventually comes down to $$$$$$$$. Let get with the program people "VOTE YES" otherwise sink with the ship and stay on welfare, unemployment and all the other entities lazy people want!

Christian Berke

Hooray for the builders for understanding the jobs it would bring in, especially or their industry. Its time people start recognizing that we need jobs and there are NO other proposals on the table of this magnitude to try and turn the economy in south florida around.

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