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Florida Could be Eyeing More Casino Gambling for Revenue

12 January 2011 by admin

While nothing has been said one way or another, it does appear that Florida lawmakers are looking at more casino gambling to boost their revenue and fill in some of the hole left in their state budget. There is a bill that has been created but it has not as of yet been presented at large.

The idea of looking at casino gambling as a source of revenue comes after the Senate committee heard a report about the money being brought in as a result of legalizing casinos or allowing the expansion of existing table games. According to the report Pennsylvania has already collected $1 billion, and their legalizing and expanding is still less than a year old; their changes to gambling laws happened in the spring of 2010. And already a $1 billion, and that is more than their neighbor, New Jersey—which is probably why New Jersey is eyeing online gambling regulation. The report also told of nearby Louisiana’s riverboats that annually pull in more than $500 million.

States who receive revenue from casino gambling sources do so through taxes. The Pennsylvania casinos hand over 55% of its revenues in taxes to the state, as compared to the Louisiana riverboats which are taxed at 21.5%.

While it is likely that Florida would put a tax on any future casinos to make sure a regular flow of money is coming in, it is not mentioned in the bill as of yet. What is in the bill thus far is that Florida would allow four or five major casino resort companies, such as the Sands and the Wynn Resort Casinos, to bid for the opportunity and space to build destination resorts in the state. Destination resorts are not just casinos that would offer the regular array of casino games, such as blackjack, slot machines, poker, craps, roulette and more, but large resort that offer shopping and convention space.

Seminole Republican Dennis Jones believes that Florida is losing convention type business to other states simply because it does not offer enough or big enough spaces. He thinks that if Florida were to offer more and bigger convention spaces that more business would then be brought to Florida. To my thinking if more conventioneers where here at a destination resort that also happened to have a casino, casino track and money won from patrons would increase as opposed to having only a standalone casino. The more money brought in means more money for the state.

According to the bill that Jones is sponsoring, the casino companies that would be allowed to would be invited to bid. There would be a $50 million application fee for those who wanted to go for the chance to build in Florida. But if approved casino companies that are approved would then have exclusivity on their casino games for a seventy mile radius.

Now you might be wondering how this will or if it even will impact the Seminoles compact. I mean, here is a Seminole sponsoring the bill to allow destination resorts—does that not sound a bit conflicting? Check back this afternoon for and if there be an impact on the Seminoles’ compact.

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