Citadel Founder Ken Griffin Says Casinos are a Losing Idea for Florida

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Posted on: January 31, 2024, 02:54h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2024, 11:49h.

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Ken Griffin, nan laminitis and co-chief finance serviceman of Citadel, believes Florida is already connected nan correct track, and much casinos could derail nan state’s awesome economical trajectory.

Ken GriffinCitadel laminitis Ken Griffin. He opposes casino description successful Florida. (Image: Getty Images)

In a caller op-ed for nan Miami Herald, Griffin, whose hedge money is 1 of nan world’s largest, called caller casino gaming description legislation earlier nan Florida legislature a “threat to our shared prosperity.”

Currently, location are astir 20 gaming venues successful nan state, pinch Hard Rock-branded properties operated by nan Seminole Tribe accounting for a plurality. Caesars Entertainment runs Harrah’s Pompano, and there’s a smattering of different casinos strewn crossed South Florida.

As Griffin noted, successful 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot inaugural stating casino gaming description successful nan authorities must beryllium confirmed by voters, not politicians. Senate Bill 1054 and House Bill 1127 presently earlier those chambers magnitude to legislative gimmickry aimed astatine “sidestepping voters,” opined nan billionaire.

Griffin’s Unique Perspective

Though not mentioned successful his portion for nan Herald, Griffin has an absorbing position connected nan rumor of immoderate jurisdictions turning to casinos to make jobs and bolster authorities coffers.

For decades, Citadel was based successful Chicago. But successful 2022, Griffin decided to move nan hedge money to Miami aft 1 of his labor was held up astatine gunpoint connected their measurement to get java successful nan Windy City. Illinois, including Chicago, has progressively turned to casinos to statement up nan state’s ailing finances and those of immoderate cities. It’s a gambit Griffin doesn’t support.

Too often, section casinos gain a mostly of their profits from residents pinch gambling problems. This leads to surgery lives, shattered families and higher crime rates successful nan community,” he wrote successful nan Herald. “One tin spot nan harm crossed galore metrics. For example, adjacent location values are reduced by nan opening of casinos, according to nan National Association of Realtors.”

Griffin is simply a longtime philanthropist to Republican candidates, putting him astatine likelihood pinch policymakers successful heavy bluish Illinois. Crime and value of life appeared to beryllium nan motivations for moving Citadel to Florida, and successful nan process, Illinois mislaid 1 of its biggest individual payers of income tax, on pinch a slew of highly compensated Citadel staffers who moved to Miami.

Florida Alluring for Casinos

As nan third-largest — and 1 of nan fastest-growing states — Florida is undoubtedly compelling to casino operators.  That’s particularly successful those areas successful which nan companies could perchance found caller gaming venues without butting heads pinch nan Seminoles.

Some gaming companies whitethorn beryllium shrewd capable to see different parts of Florida. But location are ongoing attempts to bring a casino edifice to nan Miami area. For example, Fontainebleau Miami Beach proprietor Jeffrey Soffer has donated heavy to Florida Republicans, though it’s wide known nan residents of Miami Beach don’t want a casino.

That’s wherever Griffin could flex his financial muscle. He’s worthy an estimated $37.2 billion. It’s imaginable — though he didn’t mention thing to this effect — that he could promise to support a 2028 White House bid by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). That’s if nan politician opposes casino description successful nan state. Those are to-be-determined factors, but it’s clear Griffin doesn’t want caller gaming venues successful South Florida.

“Allowing casinos to harm thriving communities and undermine Florida families is for illustration willingly dumping toxic discarded into nan Everglades,” he concluded successful nan Herald. “Casinos are a bad stake for South Florida. We request to conclusion this reckless legislation, take sides our individual authorities arsenic voters, and protect Florida’s future.”

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