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State economists to meet again next week on casino proposal

by Dara Kam | December 2nd, 2011

Just how much money three new casinos might bring to the state remains unclear after state economists spent hours struggling to settle on an amount.

The state Revenue Estimating Conference, made up of economists representing the legislature, Gov. Rick Scott and state agencies, took a second swipe at an estimate on Friday but agreed to meet again next week to try to finalize the numbers.

“I think we’re getting close to getting numbers that we could all agree to and feel comfortable with that we could end up adopting next week,” the legislature’s chief economist Amy Baker told reporters late Friday. “People want to think about a couple parts some more. There’s about 16 different piece of the bill that affect revenues and state revenues in one shape or fashion. There are a lot of moving parts behind those but I think we’re getting very close to a product that we can all agree to.”

Proponents of the “destination resorts” measure, including sponsor Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, contend the casinos will bring an economic boom to the cash-strapped state. Her plan (SB 710) requires potential casino operators to spend at least $2 billion to develop and build facilities aimed at attracting high rollers from around the world.

The state economists did agree that the three casinos would bring in at least $350 million over four years in taxes, the bulk of that coming from collections related to construction and equipment. The estimators also debated how much money visitors would spend and how many new tourists the casinos might bring to Florida.

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3 Responses to “State economists to meet again next week on casino proposal”

  1. Thomas Says:

    If you are going to bring in real casinos, let them go all out. Putting a limit of three is unrealsitic, the states too big, and the money’s too easy. Don’t worry about drugs and prostitutes, we already have them. We’ll just get an upgrade on both. Time to let the Seminoles know they don’t own Florida.

  2. Dempsey Says:

    This State is about as dirty and corrupt as they come. Bring in gambling, legalize marijuana and let prostitution be in certain areas like Nevada. These three vices are already huge in the State, tax the hell out of it and let the people prosper. Las Vegas South, imagine the tourists and tax dollars with the weather and beaches. Screw North Fla and their bible thumping hypocrites, while we’re at it, divide the State and let them go pray for our sins, while we rake in huge $$$$. I don’t gamble, smoke weed or visit hookers, I have no dog in this race, but do see the benefits for the State. It’s a no brainer financially speaking. When you can control and regulate these vices, let the people who run these make their money, they’ll be glad to fork over taxes and revenue percentages. The crime aspect will be, at least, localized to a particular area and can be monitored, just like in Vegas.

  3. John Says:

    I think the resort casinos will be a good thing for Florida. It appears the only groups opposed are the fake christian coalition groups that are being funded by Disney. We really need to stop corporate influence of Disney. Build the resorts and create jobs now!

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