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Florida's tourist attractions group opposes resort casino bill

CapuchinsThe board of the association of tourist attractions and parks today announced it will oppose the "destination resorts" casino bill if it moves through the Legislature.

The Florida Attractions Association, which represents public and private tourist sites throughout the state (from the Monkey Jungle and the Miami Science Museum to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo), warned that the experience of other states is troubling.

"Less fortunate destinations around the U.S. have sought to increase their market share of tourism by adding casino gambling to their states,'' the association said in a press release. "The results have been less than stellar. Promises of economic boom and employment gains are not sustained, and casino gambling has become passé with their proliferation and the passage of time."

The group, which includes Disney and Universal Studios, will join No Casinos, whose leading member is Disney World, in opposing the bill, the association said. Universal has a theme park associated with Genting's Resorts World Senosa in Singapore.

"The Florida 'brand' is worthy of our efforts to protect her against outside interests seeking to capitalize on our destination superiority by adding casinos to the Sunshine State landscape,'' the association said.

No Casinos was joined on Tuesday by a coalition of religious and conservative groups which vowed to hold legislators accountable for their votes on casinos during the next session. 

Photo credit: Monkey Jungle