In an unusual move, NFL franchise Miami Dolphins has entered the US political arena to urge fans to vote against a betting-related amendment.
On Monday, the official Miami Dolphins Twitter account advocated opposition to Amendment 3, which is on the ballot in the state during Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Amendment 3 would give Florida voters the exclusive right to choose whether or not to approve any further casino gambling establishments. If passed, the Amendment would mean that only direct citizen initiatives, rather than the state Legislature, could approve casino gambling, effectively making it much harder to establish new gambling operations in the state.
The Amendment is being supported by Voters In Charge, an organisation that has been funded to the tune of more than $20 million apiece by Disney Worldwide Services and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Both Disney and the Seminole Tribe currently run gambling operations in the state, and both are looking to the Amendment as a means to limit competition.
What might have remained a local political issue confined to pro and anti-gambling parties has taken on another dimension with the involvement of one of the state’s three NFL franchises. But like professional sports teams all over the United States, the Dolphins are adjusting to the new betting landscape following the effective striking down of the PASPA Act in May.
Sports betting has the potential to bring substantial benefits to US sports franchises, through sponsorships and increased fan engagement, and the Dolphins are one of a number of teams who are keen to take advantage of the new opportunities. Fellow AFC franchise New York Jets have already announced a tie-ins with casino company MGM and sports betting operator 888, and it seems clear that the Dolphins are not prepared to sit out this particular political fight, which could have significant revenue implications for their franchise in the years to come.
Miami Dolphins Jumbo helmet image from Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock.com
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