Florida Chamber Poll Finds Floridians Continue to Support Seminole Compact and Benefits to Florida

By: Edie Ousley

An Overwhelming Percentage of Floridians Continue to View the Sunshine State as a “Family-Friendly” Destination

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 7, 2016) – As lawmakers begin making their way to Tallahassee to start the 2016 Legislative Session, a new statewide poll commissioned by the Florida Chamber of Commerce reveals that among those who have heard about it, the Seminole Compact proposed by Governor Rick Scott is overwhelmingly popular.

“Floridians are nearly unanimous in agreeing that our state is a family-friendly tourist destination, and support a continued partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” said Mark Wilson, President of the Florida Chamber. “The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Compact presents Florida with the most reasonable path toward controlled gaming operations that also provide significant economic stability to Florida.”

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, also found that Florida voters respond favorably to the newly proposed Compact. Further, after hearing the details of the proposal, three-fourths of voters in Florida believe the legislature should approve of the new 20-year Compact. This clearly indicates that as voters become more educated as to what is included in this new Compact, public support should increase.

The Compact will result in $3 billion in revenue to Florida over seven years, which is three times the guarantee of the prior Compact.  Additionally, the Compact will not only save 3,500 jobs, but will also generate 15,000 new jobs.

“Our polling continues to find that Floridians are satisfied with the agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and believe the Compact will continue to benefit the State of Florida,” said pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the poll on behalf of the Florida Chamber.  “Once voters hear about this new Compact, it wins broad support across party lines and media markets across the state.”

In December 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced a new Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which is pending approval by the Florida Legislature. The poll asked respondents how they feel about the Compact and whether they believe it is in the state’s interest to approve it.

The poll found:

  • Among voters who have an opinion, by a margin of nearly three-to-one, Floridians believe the Compact has been good for the state.
  • When asked if the agreement between the state and the Tribe has been mostly good for the state, mostly bad for the state or somewhere in-between, fully 30% of Floridians say it’s been mostly good, 11% say it’s been mostly bad, and 54% say it’s “somewhere in between.”
  • By a wide 38%-11% margin, Florida voters believe the Seminole Tribe kept their end of the agreement with the state to provide a minimum of $1 billion over five years in revenue.
  • Fully 95% of Florida voters say that they consider the state’s entertainment options to be “family-friendly.”
  • When asked whether the opportunities for gambling in the state should be expanded, reduced or kept at about the same level, the number of Florida voters who opt for keeping them at about the same level outnumber those who want an increase or a decrease by about two-to-one. (Keep them the same – 53%, expand – 27%, reduce – 19%).

The poll was conducted December 28-30, 2015 and has margin of error of +/- 3.7% in 95 out of 100 cases.

Please click here to see addendum for question wording and responses, and click here for crosstab information.

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