Miami Herald, The (FL) – Tuesday, February 7, 1984
Author: DORY OWENS Herald Staff Writer

Seven weeks into the drive to legalize casinos in Florida, backers have collected 100,000 signatures — one third of those necessary to place the issue on the ballot in November’s statewide general election.

Florida Casino Associates must collect the signatures of 298,743 registered voters in eight congressional districts by Aug. 6 in order to put the gambling and state lottery issues before voters.

Making the August deadline “won’t be a problem,” according to Joseph D’Angelo, a consultant to Florida Casino Associates. The group is collecting an average of 5,000 petition signatures daily, D’Angelo said Monday.

Stan Wertheimer also considers the petition drive a cinch.

Since mid-December the 40- year-old swimming pool manager at the Marco Polo Resort in Sunny Isles, so far has collected about 5,000 signatures during his volunteer dinner- hour vigils in front of North Dade department stores and malls.

“I don’t have to do any selling,” Wertheimer said. “People have watched since 1978 and things didn’t get any better.” Florida voters rejected gambling in 1978 by a 3-1 margin.

The group has distributed petitions to many Miami Beach hotels — as well as other hotels throughout the state — restaurants, grocers, liquor stores and other small businesses.

As the petition drive continues in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Volusia, Duval and Bay counties, gambling proponents also are moving ahead in a unique, public stock sale designed to finance the campaign.

About 1.2 million shares of stock in Florida Casino Associates have been sold, D’Angelo said. It must sell 1.5 million shares by Feb. 28, according to Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) regulations.

Florida Casino Associates has SEC approval to sell five million shares at $1 apiece. About $4 million from the sale will be funneled into Citizens for Less Taxes, a political action committee that will bankroll the gambling drive.

The rest will go towards the $70,000 salary of Florida Casino Associates president Charles Rosen and $50,000 salary of campaign manager John F. Brown, who helped legalize gambling in Atlantic City.
Caption: photo: Charles Rosen

Memo: also in KYS
Edition: STATE
Section: GLF
Page: 1B
Record Number: 8401090750
Copyright (c) 1984 The Miami Herald

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