Florida eyes major casino expansion

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 04, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

One of the biggest winners (state-wise) in the recent trend that has seen a number of locales introduce or expand their gaming has been the Sunshine State, Florida. After last year’s legislation that allowed Florida card-rooms to expand their gaming under a 2006 law from the ultra-small-stakes that were allowed at race tracks where people were betting horses, the already popular tourist locale has seen a huge growth in their gaming industry, which has caught the eye of several casino developers.

Recent proposals put forth by Florida legislators include a further expansion of the gaming industry in the state which could see the creation of Las Vegas style mega-casinos. One such company is the Malaysian-based Genting Americas, which according to PokerNews.com recently purchased $236 million worth of land in Miami, Florida (the Miami Herald building).

President of Genting Americas, Colin Au, told PokerNews that “he’s on a mission to meet with all 180 of the state’s legislatures and will lobby as long as it takes to get what it wants,” adding that despite the social stigma of casinos, the amount of revenue that expanded gaming could add to the state coffers, as well as the thousands of jobs, will be enough to sway the vote in their favor, “At the end of the day we are a sin industry,” he said. “The most important thing is to make the economic development benefits far outweigh anything else.”

According to Au, a resort style casino will provide $400 to $600 million in annual tax revenue [based on the 10% tax currently levied on Florida casino operators] and will create 100,000 permanent jobs for Florida.

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