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Disney puts another $500K into gambling amendment

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the proposal's backers collect petition signatures, Disney Worldwide Services has contributed another $500,000 to a ballot initiative that could limit the expansion of gambling in Florida.

The contribution last month brought to $1.15 million the amount that the Disney company has funneled to the political committee “Voters In Charge” since April, according to a report posted this week on the state Division of Elections website. Voters In Charge is spearheading the drive to pass a constitutional amendment in November 2018 that would make it harder to expand gambling.

The proposed constitutional amendment, if approved, would give voters the "exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling" in the state. It would require voter approval of casino-style games in the future.

The Florida Supreme Court this spring signed off on the proposal's ballot wording, a key first step in the process of taking the issue to voters. But Voters In Charge still needs to submit a total of 766,200 valid petition signatures to get on the ballot. It has submitted 151,476, a total that has steadily increased in recent weeks, according to numbers posted on the Division of Elections website.

Voters In Charge spent $282,305 in July, with almost all of the money going to petition gathering and verification.