Voters ready to cast ballots on slots
Fox 4's John Rupolo has all sidesPhoto: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Put a coin in and you could win thousands. The owners of the Fort Myers-Naples Greyhound track say they deserve the rights that other Florida gambling facilities have.
"Being that we are the only licensed and taxed gambling facility in Lee County, we feel that we should be able to offer what unlicensed, untaxed, and unregulated businesses do," said Izzy Havenick of the racetrack.
So come November, voters will decide whether to authorize slot machine gaming at only this facility. Earlier this year, the Lee County Commission approved putting the referendum on the ballot after being urged to do so by Bonita Springs officials who stand to gain one million dollars a year in revenue.
"It's an opportunity beyond the money," said Bonita Springs City Manager Carl Schwing.
Owners of the racetrack say bringing in slots will create 500 full time new jobs but if the initiative on the November ballot are approved, it's not a done deal. The state legislature would have to do the same.
"Hopefully that by getting the citizens of Lee County behind the state legislature will realize that this is something that community does not mind having," said Havenick.
But not everyone is all for it. A website called "No for Lee" says bringing slots to the region will also bring crime and addiction. Racetrack officials disagree.
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