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Amendment 3 is good for business

November 2, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Of the 12 amendments on the Florida ballot, one that should be of particular interest to the business community is Amendment 3.

This is a pro-business initiative and has been endorsed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Despite claims by gambling interests, casinos do not grow the economic pie. They do not bring in new consumers who, in turn, spread the wealth to surrounding businesses. This is particularly true of the Las Vegas-style resort casinos looking to get a toehold in Florida.

Instead, these casinos cannibalize customers from existing businesses, be they restaurants, theaters or hotels. Resort casinos are designed to be all-inclusive, one-stop entertainment sites. Their gambling profits allow them to undercut competitors' prices for meals, drinks and lodging.

Atlantic City discovered this the hard way. It counted on casinos to bolster local businesses. Instead, as reported in the press of Atlantic City, the reverse often proved true: "Before casinos took over the Boardwalk and became the focal point of the city's economy, Atlantic Avenue was the place to be. Restaurants, night spots such as the 500 Club and mom-and-pop stores once lined the iconic road. Now, the street is a shell of its former self. Restaurants have been replaced by convenience stories, while some storefronts have been shuttered for years."

Imagine setting up a business, investing in it for years, contributing with other businesses to create a vibrant hub, only to have a casino move in and feed off what you created.

Your voice needs to be heard on casino expansion. Voting for Amendment 3 ensures it will.

Jonathan Heiland

Cape Coral



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