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On the eve of the first vote, poll shows growing support for South Florida casinos

A majority of Florida voters appear to be in favor of allowing three resort casinos in Miami, according to a new statewide poll of likely voters released by Associated Industries of Florida, which is working on behalf of Genting Americas. Download FL AIF statewide memo (2)

According to the telephone survey by Public Opinion Strategies conducted last week, Jan. 2-5 and Jan. 7, 50 percent of the respondents said they favor and 39 percent said they opposed three destination resorts and casinos in Broward and Miami Dade counties. The results come just as the Senate Regulated Industries Committee is scheduled to take the first vote on the proposal on Monday.

Public Opinion Strategies is the Republican polling firm best known in Florida for being former Gov. Jeb Bush’s pollster. The poll included 800 likely voters, including 105 cell-phone only voters. An earlier poll by the same company, conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 1, attempted to assess public opinion for the measure in each region of the state. It also tested eight messages in favor of the casino proposal and six messages against it and asked voters whether voting in favor of the measure would hurt the popularity of  local legislators.

According to December results, which included a 500 person sample in five regions of the state and 100 person over-sample of GOP primary voters, a majority of voters in every region were more inclined to allow the destination resort casinos to be built as a jobs and revenue  boost for the state.

Similar numbers were found in a December poll by the Tarrance Group working for Las Vegas Sands, with 55 percent of Floridians approving and 39 percent opposed.

When voters were pushed with a more descriptive explanation, a larger percentage of voters supported the provision. AIF pollsters asked:

As you may know, there is a proposal to license three resorts in the Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The resorts would pay a ten percent gaming tax, as well as standard sales and hotel bed taxes. The resorts would include hotels, convention centers, restaurants, bars, and entertainment centers, as well as a casino. Having heard more about the proposal to build three destination resorts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, do you favor or oppose the proposal?

The results: 27%  STRONGLY FAVOR

The Tarrance Group asked 1,000 likely registered voters on Dec. 4-7: Would you favor or oppose the State Legislature allowing the development of a limited number of high quality destination resort casinos?They had the following results with a margin of error of+ 3.1%:

Region                     Interviews          Favor        Oppose         Unsure

Northwest                  N=94                52%              48%              0%

Northeast/JAX           N=110               53%             45%              2%

Central/Orange CO    N=172               53%             45%              2%

Southwest/Bay Area   N=282               57%            41%              2%

Gold Coast/Palm Beach N=99              60%            37%              3%

Southeast/Miami      N=243                62%            36%              2%


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Chris Keane

This is wonderful news!!!!! Support putting Miami back to work - we need jobs!

Selena Gonzales

Its about time Florida back the Casino Bill. We already have casino gambling - we need to do it the right way. And we desperately need the jobs. There are too many Floridians out of work.

Freddy M

Actually, I believe the % for resort casinos is even higher than this poll says.

Dave Smith

If you agree with the Destination Resorts legislation, you should sign the petition at www.floridagetstowork.com. Let's help bring more jobs to Florida.

John Janik

Really? Great New? You want to get back to work as a bus boy at some restaurant that will be build in the next 5-10 years? How about Miami develop real middle class jobs now, not minimum wage service industry jobs.


Wow - this is really great news. Now all we need to do is get our elected officials to do the right thing. Let's build the resort casino and create jobs!


Miami doesn't have any real jobs. There are what, maybe two corporations headquartered there? None on the horizon. Anyone can now bring jobs to Miami if they wanted. Apparently nobody does. But, there are billions of construction dollars waiting to be spent there. Gambling is here already. It's about time Miami got a piece of the action and the thousands of jobs that go with it. Who cares if someone is a waiter on South Beach or at a casino. The employees of casinos earn a lot more than other service industry workers.

John Balzer

I am pleased to see that the political sway is leaning in the right direction. Approving the resort destination bill will greatly help our state.

Pablo Caballero

I have advanced restaurant skills and am ready to apply them. Is a busboy the only guy who works in a restaurant? How about the waiter. I the early 90's, I could make $300 a day waiting on tables, and that was in a low scale restaurant. Now I have moved on the cooking and want a shot at these new jobs. What is wrong with that?

Maria Gomez

We need the casino bill to pass pain and simple because it is the only single legislative maneuver that promises to repair nearly all of the economic malaise we suffer in the state. We will get the new jobs the governor pormised. We will get the tax revenue the state and our police agencies need and it will come from a fair distribution of gambling taxes unlike the Seminoles who pay no tax. Not only that, it will take some blighted buildings that need to be torn down anyway and replace them with 21st Century modern wonders. Is that something that will aide tourism? OF COURSE IT IS!

Bill Linder

This only proves what everyone already knows. Floridians want the casinos. We already have gambling, why not up the ante and take in all of the money that will come. The casinos will finally clean up downtown Miami. It's dirty and filled with criminals. A casino won't allow for it and they will force the entire clean-up of downtown Miami.

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