Gambling measure nears reaching November ballot

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder to expand gambling in Florida are getting close to reaching the November ballot.

The political committee Voters In Charge, which is spearheading the initiative, had submitted 725,942 valid petition signatures to the state as of mid-day Monday, a number that has steadily increased in recent weeks.

The committee needs to submit 766,200 valid signatures by a Feb. 1 deadline.

The committee also needs to meet signature thresholds in 14 congressional districts and had done so Monday in at least 12 of the districts, according to numbers posted on the state Division of Elections website.

The proposal, if approved in November, would change the Florida Constitution and 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.