(Tallahassee) – When it comes to gambling policy in the state of Florida, the fox is now guarding the henhouse. The long-awaited selection of a consultant to help the Florida Legislature craft comprehensive gambling policy has resulted in the hiring of a firm that has a history of working for virtually every type of casino-gambling interest wanting to expand in Florida.
In choosing Spectrum Gaming Group, the selection committee ignored alarm bells about potential conflicts of interest that are loud enough to wake the dead.
First off, their name is Spectrum Gaming Group. Hello? Hello?
Second, they are based in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Ba-bing!
Third, according to the Associated Press, they did work for Genting – the Malaysian Casino conglomerate that wants to build the largest casino in the world on property they have purchased in downtown Miami. Inside straight!
Fourth, their business portfolio include broad services to the casino industry. So every casino built is a potential Spectrum client down the road.
Fifth, it is affiliated with Spectrum Gaming Capital, which helps finance casinos.
“The people of Florida deserve an honest assessment by objective analysts, not a taxpayer funded propaganda tool for casino interests,” said No Casinos President John Sowinski. “The Legislature needs to either change course, or know that $400,000 of taxpayer money will be wasted on a report that no objective observer will believe,” said Sowinski.