Florida – Ken Griffin, an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, investor, and Florida’s second richest person, has raised his voice against a Florida bill that could potentially ruin the lives of millions of Floridians, including himself. Griffin, who moved to Florida two years ago, shows growing interest in Florida politics as he tries to directly influence certain bills and proposals, citing “quality of life”.
Ken Griffin expressed his opposition in a letter recently
According to a letter sent to the Herald recently, Griffin is opposing a bill that would allow new gambling venues in South Florida cities such as Miami Beach and Doral, home to the Trump National resort. If the bill he mentions turns into law, it would have a direct negative impact on many people living in Florida, something that he most certainly didn’t plan when he decided to move to the Sunshine State.
“Allowing casinos to harm thriving communities and undermine Florida families is like willingly dumping toxic waste into the Everglades,” Griffin wrote in the letter as reported by Bloomberg.
Ken Griffin founded The Citadel, a company valued at $36.8 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In 2022, he moved to Florida, bringing parts of his company with him and buying a lot of property, including nearly $200 million worth in Miami Beach’s Star Island. He criticized a casino plan as a trick by lobbyists and interest groups that ignores voters and could harm Florida’s progress.
The bill is proposed by Florida Republican representative Alex Rizo
This month, Alex Rizo, a Republican state representative, introduced a law that would let casino owners move their permits to new places up to 30 miles away, avoiding local laws. This would make it possible for property tycoon Jeffrey Soffer to open a casino at the luxury Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.
Griffin’s stance against the casino bill shows how he’s using his wealth to influence Florida politics. Last year, he played a role in weakening a law that would have limited property buys by people from China, Venezuela, and other “countries of concern” until it passed. At a conference in Miami on Tuesday, he said he plans to get “deeply involved” in local political races in Florida.
To Griffin, “urban casinos damage communities and erode quality of life,” he wrote in his letter.
“Casinos are a bad bet for South Florida. We need to defeat this reckless legislation, defend our personal rights as voters and protect Florida’s future.”
The bigger picture
The effort to grow gambling in Florida is just one piece of a bigger movement across the country that’s leading to lots of lobbying and disagreements in communities.
Miriam Adelson, who was married to casino big shot Sheldon Adelson, is buying a big part of the Dallas Mavericks. She’s looking at setting up a casino and sports complex in the future. In Chicago, the city Ken Griffin left for Miami, officials are trying to get a casino to help fix the city’s financial problems. At the same time, Steve Cohen, a very wealthy hedge fund owner, is working with Hard Rock International on a plan to spend $8 billion on a new casino in a Queens parking lot.