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Thread: Land-based Casino Gambling in Florida


  1. #1

    Land-based Casino Gambling in Florida

    For the last decade or so I've seen it as an inevitable and eventual full-blown industry, in addition to offshore gambling, dog tracks, horse tracks, Seminole casinos, the state lottery, etc. Considering the current economic climate i figure there is a big push behind the scenes and the state will finally lay its cards on the table and go "all in". I'd like to hear others' thoughts about the matter, whether you would welcome more gambling, how much revenue would be due the state, would it change Florida for the better or worse?

    Online Casino News - Land-based Casino Gambling News Update for North America - OnlineCasinoSuite.com

    From the most notable, recent headlines in the brick 'n mortar casino gambling world, things are not looking so good for Vegas-style Class III casino gambling in Florida, while in Canada, sports betting could get just the boost it needs to the tune of $3 billion per year. The happenings from both sides of the continent still need some time to be played out before the full repercussions can be weighed.

    In Florida, you might recall the U.S. Department of Interior approving a deal between the Seminole Indian tribe and Florida Governor, Charlie Crist, to bring Class III casino gambling to the Seminole's seven tribal casinos throughout the State for the next 25 years - consequently requiring the tribes to pay gambling taxes to Florida for the first time (expected to generate $100 million in taxes per year).

    But with some wrangling from Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who said Crist's compact was in violation of the State Constitution's clause on separation of powers (noting that five other State Supreme Courts have ruled a governor cannot unilaterally bind a state in a gambling compact), as well as some harping from South Florida racino operators, the Florida Supreme Court has overturned Crist's compact with the Seminole's.

    The issue now at hand is whether or not the Seminole tribe should cease its Class III casino operations, which are already in full effect. To further complicate the matter, the Seminoles have already paid $50 million to the State of Florida as part of the compact. So as of now - post Supreme Court ruling - the tribe is still taking Las Vegas bets at its casinos. If a governor cannot unilaterally bind the state into a gambling compact, then who can? Perhaps that is the next course of action?

    In Canada, things are looking more promising. If Joe Comartin gets his way and is able to amend the federal Criminal Code to allow betting on individual sporting events, as much $3 billion in gross wagering per year could be generated in Canada. As things stand now, bettors are only permitted to make parlay bets, which are combination bets made on the outcome of three or more sporting events at a single time. More tempting, however, would be the allowance of betting on single sporting events. And Comartin's proposal is tempting indeed, for Canadians love their sports. Hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball and football would all be fair game bets at casinos and race tracks if the amendment is passed.

  2. #2
    http://www.camh.net/egambling/archiv...ue11-ricci.pdf

    from 2004


    This article considers the viability of casino gaming as one
    potential solution for Florida's current lackluster financial
    condition, due to declines in tourism revenues and increased
    education costs. The article suggests that similar conditions have
    motivated voters to set aside personal disdain for legalized forms
    of gambling in the interest of financial gains.



  3. #3
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    Not being interested in gambling, myself, I have few issues with gambling in general. Like many other things, gambling can be a problem for some people, their friends, and their family. I do understand that.

    Interestingly, I recently read stories about Las Vegas numbers being way down during this economic crisis, and the same holds true for the lottery. So, I don't think allowing gambling in FL will pull the State out of financial hardships, but in "normal" conditions, financially speaking, I think it could be another way the State could increase their revenues, maybe offsetting FL residents' tax bills.


  4. #4
    i'm all for it, being a Native, i have seen the pro's and con's of it. i am supportive if the wealth is spread with the tax etc. I tend to put it up with smoking and alcohol, if they or me are going to do it, tax the crap out of it and use it for some good. it can be a huge boon for an area like PCB or like area that has the condo's or the port to facilitate it. i say go for it, i'm sure SoWal will stick to it's roots and keep ourselves the quiet little beach it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiling JOe View Post
    Not being interested in gambling, myself, I have few issues with gambling in general. Like many other things, gambling can be a problem for some people, their friends, and their family. I do understand that.

    Interestingly, I recently read stories about Las Vegas numbers being way down during this economic crisis, and the same holds true for the lottery. So, I don't think allowing gambling in FL will pull the State out of financial hardships, but in "normal" conditions, financially speaking, I think it could be another way the State could increase their revenues, maybe offsetting FL residents' tax bills.
    You're a Realtor right?

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    I don't think it's a bad idea. Like anything, some people will have a problem with it or an addiction to it. That's life and we don't outlaw cigarettes, booze, or porn due to "addictive tendencies" of a few.

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    gayboi, that is a low blow. Selling real estate is no more of a gamble than other professions.


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    I don't understand how gambling will improve our economy - lottery ticket sales are down, Vegas is hurting, yet gambling is the cash cow that will save us?

    BTW I've heard this argument before up north when the Indians were negotiating tax breaks, discounts, free infrastructure, and deals for their casinos .................. and that story didn't end quite the way they said it would.
    Last edited by scooterbug44; 02-03-2009 at 11:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterbug44 View Post
    I don't understand how gambling will improve our economy - lottery ticket sales are down, Vegas is hurting, yet gambling is the cash cow that will save us?

    BTW I've heard this argument before up north when the Indians were negotiating tax breaks, discounts, free infrastructure, and deals for their casinos .................. and that story didn't end quite the way they said it would.
    Well if you want to gamble and can't afford to fly to Vegas you might just head up to the brand new Freeport slot house.

    As to helping the economy it's really just the jobs it brings in. On average a dealer in a casino is going to make $50,000/yr. That's a pretty good salary for this area and if you can go from waiting tables, a horrible and truly dishonorable job by some posters standards, to dealing blackjack and make more money you'd probably take a dealer course. Just imagine the Paxton school of gaming.

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    That's an old trick - gambling will bring high paying jobs to your area - the reality is that those jobs are typically entry level - maids, dishwashers, cleaning staff, not casino execs.

    Per Salary.com, even if you count all their possible benefits a Vegas blackjack dealer makes less than $50k a year - after taxes they're cashing a weekly paycheck of less than $500.

    Salary.com’s Salary Wizard™- Do you know what you're worth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterbug44 View Post
    That's an old trick - gambling will bring high paying jobs to your area - the reality is that those jobs are typically entry level - maids, dishwashers, cleaning staff, not casino execs.

    Per Salary.com, even if you count all their possible benefits a Vegas blackjack dealer makes less than $50k a year - after taxes they're cashing a weekly paycheck of less than $500.

    Salary.com’s Salary Wizard™- Do you know what you're worth?
    Well I believe salary.com got it wrong. We both know a former dealer who made about that 20 years ago on a casino boat. I've met her friend who is a Vegas casino dealer and enjoys a very nice income. While it has dropped with the economy he's not starving and ramains well over the $50,000 average. That weekly check doesn't include the tips they get every day.

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    Check out the link - their base pay is about a third of their salary - the rest is bonuses/tips.

    All I'm saying is that I've already gone through this elsewhere, and a decade later they're still waiting for all those high paying jobs they were promised to materialize!

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterbug44 View Post
    Check out the link - their base pay is about a third of their salary - the rest is bonuses/tips.

    All I'm saying is that I've already gone through this elsewhere, and a decade later they're still waiting for all those high paying jobs they were promised to materialize!
    I'm going to assume you are referencing your home town/state. Remember though that a view of beaches usually wins over dairy cows.

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    Starting in January 2009, I'll bet these folks aren't tossing their money in the slots or on the gambling tables....and there's more to come:

    Jan. 29: Eastman Kodak (nyse: EK - news - people ) took a $137 million Q4 loss and will cut up to 4,500 jobs, up to 18% of workforce.

    Jan. 29: Textron (nyse: TXT - news - people ) subsidiary Cessna Aircraft will increase layoffs from 2,600 to 4,600, to be completed by April.

    Jan. 29: Ford Motor's (nyse: F - news - people ) credit subsidiary cuts 1,200 jobs, about 20% of its workforce.

    Jan. 29: Black & Decker (nyse: BDK - news - people ) will eliminate 1,200 jobs as power tool sales decline and Q4 earnings plunge.

    Jan. 29: ESPN, part of the Walt Disney Co., (nyse: DIS - news - people ) will cut 200 jobs and Disney-ABC Television Group will release 400 to cope with weak economy.

    Jan. 28: Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) increases previously announced layoffs--bringing total to 10,000 workers, or 6% of the company’s workforce.

    Jan. 28: Starbucks (nasdaq: SBUX - news - people ) organizes closings at 900 stores worldwide and fires 6,700 in the process.

    Jan. 28: Target (nyse: TGT - news - people ) cuts 400 open positions and 600 employees on sagging sales.

    Jan. 27: Time Warner's (nyse: TWX - news - people ) AOL reduces workforce by 10% (700 workers) as it fights declining ad revenue.

    Jan. 27: Cabinet company Merillat--a subsidiary of Masco (nyse: MAS - news - people )--cuts 20% of workforce (70 workers).

    Jan. 26: Texas Instruments (nyse: TXN - news - people ) pink-slips 3,400 (12% of workforce).

    Jan. 26: Lincoln National (nyse: LNC - news - people ) posts five quarterly declines in profit; cuts 540 (5% of workforce).

    Jan. 26: Caterpillar (nyse: CAT - news - people ) announces quarterly profit plunge of 32%; fires 20,000.

    Jan. 26: Following the acquisition of the small drug outfit Wyeth for $68 billion, Pfizer (nyse: PFE - news - people ) closes five factories and cuts 15% of total workforce (19,000 workers).

    Jan. 26: Sprint Nextel (nyse: S - news - people ) pink-slips 8,000 workers--recording more than $300 million in severance charges but saving $1.2 billion a year in labor costs.

    Jan. 26: Home Depot (nyse: HD - news - people ) closes high-end home design shops and slims ranks at headquarters; dismisses 7,000.

    Jan. 26: General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) cuts production at several plants and fires 2,000 in Michigan and Ohio.

    Jan. 23: Abercrombie & Fitch (nyse: ANF - news - people ) cuts 50 from headquarters as company leans expenses.

    Jan. 23: Harley-Davidson (nyse: HOG - news - people ) sees 60% drop in profits in fourth quarter of 2008; fires 1,100 (10% of workforce).

    Jan. 22: Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) has first mass layoff in 34-year history; pink slips 5,000.

    Jan. 22: Huntsman (nyse: HUN - news - people ) reduces workforce by 9%; cutting 1,175 regular workers and 490 full-time contractors.

    Jan. 21: Burlington Santa Fe cuts 2,500 workers (5% of workforce) despite a 19% jump in earnings during the fourth quarter.

    Jan. 21: UAL (nasdaq: UAUA - news - people ) fires 1,000 to cut overhead costs.

    Jan. 21: SPX (nyse: SPW - news - people ) attempts to sell a business unit and cuts 400 employees to help endure the downturn.

    Jan. 21: Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people ) closes five manufacturing plants and pink slips 5,000.

    Jan. 21: Walt Disney (nyse: DIS - news - people ) offers voluntary buyouts to 600 theme park executives on poor attendance.

    Jan. 21: Wynn Resorts wraps up construction on Las Vegas Strip casino with 53-worker layoff in design and construction affiliate.

    Jan. 21: Eaton (nyse: ETN - news - people ) brings total workforce reduction since the beginning of last year to 10% with 5,200-worker cut.

    Jan. 21: Warner Bros. Entertainment--a part of Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people )--cuts 10% (800) of its jobs.

    Jan. 20: Clear Channel Communications (nyse: CCU - news - people ) reduces workforce across the entire company by 9% accounting for 1,850 job losses.

    Jan. 20: Deere & Co. (nyse: DE - news - people ) dismisses 120 at Iowa plant.

    Jan. 16: ConocoPhillips (nyse: COP - news - people ) trims capital spending by 18%, writes off $34 billion and reduces workforce by 4% (1,300 jobs).

    Jan. 16: Hertz Global Holdings (nyse: HTZ - news - people ) sets out for worldwide restructuring in first quarter of 2009; cuts 4,000 jobs.

    Jan. 16: WellPoint (nyse: WLP - news - people ) reduces workforce by 600 and removes 900 open positions.

    Jan. 16: Advanced Micro Devices (nyse: AMD - news - people ) reduces global workforce by 9% (1,100 jobs).

    Jan. 15: Xerox (nyse: XRX - news - people ) cuts 275 jobs in New York region.

    Jan. 15: MeadWestvaco (nyse: MWV - news - people ) fires 2,000 and plans closings or restructurings at up to 14 plants.

    Jan. 15: Autodesk (nasdaq: ADSK - news - people ) expects loss from 2008 fourth quarter; pink-slips 750 (10% of workforce).

    Jan. 15: Marshall & Ilsley (nyse: MI - news - people ) cuts 8% of staff (830) in ongoing cost-cutting.

    Jan. 15: General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people )'s (nyse: GE - news - people ) jet-engine group cuts 1,000 white-collar jobs.

    Jan. 14: Ecolab (nyse: ECL - news - people ) restructures and reduces workforce by 4% (1,000 jobs).

    Jan. 14: Delta Air Lines (nyse: DAL - news - people ) gives 2,000 early retirements as part of 8% capacity reduction.

    Jan. 14: Motorola (nyse: MOT - news - people ) lays off 4,000 following a 3,000-worker layoff last year; expects savings of $700 million a year.

    Jan. 14: Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) fires 100 hirers as it cuts back on contract workers and temporary employees.

    Jan. 13: Cummins (nyse: CMI - news - people ) freezes salaries for the rest of the year and lets 800 go.

    Jan. 13: Pfizer (nyse: PFE - news - people ) cuts 800 researchers as it lowers cost in the face of poor performance and coming patent losses.

    Jan. 12: Mosaic (nyse: MOS - news - people ) fires 1,000 in Saskatchewan.

    Jan. 12: Aircraft maker and Textron (nyse: TXT - news - people ) subsidiary Cessna sends 2,000 packing.

    Jan. 12: Best Buy (nyse: BBY - news - people ) clears 12.5% of its headquarters staff with 500-employee layoff.

    Jan. 12: Precision Castparts (nyse: PCP - news - people ) dismisses 40 as airline industry continues to struggle.

    Jan. 9: Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ) reportedly cuts 500 from U.S. sales and consulting businesses.

    Jan. 9: Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) cuts 4,500 and returns workforce size to what it was in early 2008.

    Jan. 9: Freeport-McMoRan (nyse: FCX - news - people ) slices workforce in half at Arizona mine; 1,550 workers let go.

    Jan. 9: Smitfield Foods' (nyse: SFD - news - people ) Butterball--the nation's largest turkey company--fires 75 at Missouri plant.

    Jan. 8: Union Pacific (nyse: UNP - news - people ) pink-slips 230 as company struggles; stock down 22% year-to-date.

    Jan. 8: Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works--owned by General Dynamics (nyse: GD - news - people )--dismisses 179.

    Jan. 8: Continuing companywide job cuts at Eaton (nyse: ETN - news - people ) hit Iowa, with 78 laid off.

    Jan. 8: Walgreen (nyse: WAG - news - people ) cuts 1,000--roughly 9%--from corporate and field manager ranks.

    Jan. 7: EMC (nyse: EMC - news - people ) fires 2,400 as it reduces 2009 expenses by $350 million.

    Jan. 6: Alcoa (nyse: AA - news - people ) starts global salary and hiring freeze, plans sale of four non-core businesses and cuts workforce by 13% (13,500 jobs).

    Jan. 6: Aqua Glass--a subsidiary owned by Masco (nyse: MAS - news - people )--pink-slips 30 employees.

    Jan. 5: Cigna (nyse: CI - news - people ) reduces workforce by 4% (1,100 jobs).

    Jan. 5: United States Steel (nyse: X - news - people ) cuts 50 jobs as it closes production lines in Texas.
    But hey...Top Ramen tastes a whole lot better when you eat it off of a Granite Countertop. (Mr & Mrs Too Much Homebuyer)

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    Yes, casinos are well known for their large picture windows so you can enjoy the scenery! These casinos are as likely to be beachfront as they are to bring in high paying jobs.

    Seriously though, post a link with an example of gambling bringing in high-paying jobs. I haven't seen it happen on the Mississippi gambling boats, at the dog tracks, or at the Indian casinos.

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    Hey Debbie Downer, I didn't see MGM Universal on that list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterbug44 View Post
    Yes, casinos are well known for their large picture windows so you can enjoy the scenery! These casinos are as likely to be beachfront as they are to bring in high paying jobs.

    Seriously though, post a link with an example of gambling bringing in high-paying jobs. I haven't seen it happen on the Mississippi gambling boats, at the dog tracks, or at the Indian casinos.
    Have you ever been to Vegas? There's really no comparison between a Vegas strip casino vs. a dog track.

    The point is that if you could build a complex akin to the Wynn on the north side of the bay with high roller access to beach front amenities it would have more of a draw than Vegas.

    I realize that the actual casinos aren't built to have a view, but the actual rooms are.

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    Yes, I've been to Vegas and I've visited most of the major casinos - Bellagio, Venetian, MGM Grand, Caeser's Palace, etc.

    I totally agree that there is no comparison between a major Vegas strip casino & hotel and what we are likely to get built here <cough EBRO cough>.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterbug44 View Post
    Yes, I've been to Vegas and I've visited most of the major casinos - Bellagio, Venetian, MGM Grand, Caeser's Palace, etc.

    I totally agree that there is no comparison between a major Vegas strip casino & hotel and what we are likely to get built here <cough EBRO cough>.
    2 or 3 years ago the Seminole tribe of Florida had their annual meeting in PCB. Kind of funny when you consider the convention space they own and operate in south Florida.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sowalgayboi View Post
    Hey Debbie Downer, I didn't see MGM Universal on that list.
    That was just the announcements for JANUARY 2009--there were others before that:

    MGM Mirage layoffs were long-planned
    AH&LA SmartBrief | 01/13/2009

    This week's announcement of 400 middle-management layoffs at MGM Mirage was in the plans for months: The effort was devised in August in reaction to a stalling economy. The cuts, which largely were in Las Vegas, are expected to save the company millions of dollars each year, the company said, and no additional cuts are expected unless the economy makes another significant dip.

    Nov. 6: Five-year-old Atlantic City establishment the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa--a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and MGM Mirage --sacks 400 employees.

    Dec. 4: General Electric's NBC Universal pink-slips 500 (3% of workforce).
    But hey...Top Ramen tastes a whole lot better when you eat it off of a Granite Countertop. (Mr & Mrs Too Much Homebuyer)

  22. #21

    gaming

    I worked in the gaming industry for 11 years and I can tell you from my own experience and having friend who dealt cards, craps, worked the slot floor. as far as income. All of the above make triple what a teacher averages. and a cocktail waitress can survive on working one day a week. It is a very lucrative salary. I just tell people look at it as if entertainment, how much would you spend on going out to eat, take in a comedy or musical concert, satying in a hotel and being pampered. There will always be addictions in life, thats when you find out who you really are, push away from the table and say that was fun entertainment but now I have to go home.

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    More today!

    wmbb.com - Casinos In Bay County

    Many of you commented on our family spring break article saying that Panama City Beach lacks things to do once the sun goes down. And many of your solutions would be to bring in casinos to the emerald coast..but is it even possible?
    Interim Executive Director for Bay County’s Economic Development Alliance, Dr. Ed Wright says, “Certainly not been any contact with us, with the Economic Development Alliance here demonstrating an interest and that would be because there is no opportunity here.”
    There are only two ways to build gambling establishments in Florida. One is for native american indian tribes to build establishments on their reservations… and the other is pari-mutuel-style, not casino style, card rooms.

    Many of you wrote to News 13 saying casinos could be the answer Bay County’s been looking for. But Dr. Wright emphasizes, “For all the reasons people might find an advantage to located new casinos in Bay County you’ll find an equal, maybe even greater outpouring of opposition in terms of what people see as the negative consequences of gambling. “
    Gambling in Florida is set to be a hot topic at the upcoming legislative session in March. It’s in law makers hands as to whether the current laws will change.

  25. #23
    New Proposal Would Add Casinos In Five More Florida Cities

    A major gaming expansion is on the table in Florida as lawmakers begin to weigh the pros and cons of bringing Las Vegas Style Casino Resorts to the Sunshine State. The conversation begins almost a year after the legislature gave exclusive rights to expanded gambling to the Seminole Tribe. Breaking the compact could cost Florida a billion dollars.

    As players at Florida’s seven Seminole Casinos are enjoying Black-Jack and other new games brought on by a state compact with the tribe, high rollers from Las Vegas are in Tallahassee to get a piece of the action. Tuesday two major gaming companies asked lawmakers to change state law to allow Vegas-style resort casinos in Florida.

    Andrew Abboud, A Vice President at Las Vegas Sands Corporation, says an expansion would bring thousands of jobs to the state. “Within our property we have three hundred to four hundred entrepreneurs that own shops or restaurants. So we may have nine or ten thousand of our direct employees and we’ll have tenets who employ another five thousand people.”

    A gaming expansion could help heal Florida’s anemic budget, but many aren’t ready to take that gamble. Sands Corporation representatives met briefly with Governor Rick Scott. Scott’s neutral on an expansion, but doesn’t want to rely on gaming revenues to balance the budget. “I do not want the budget to be tied to gaming.”

    The state collects 400 million from gambling every year. Over the next five years a billion will come from giving exclusive rights to the Seminole Tribe. But if the state gambles on new casinos, they’ll lose the Seminole money.

    In the middle once again are the state’s 27 businesses that offer racing along with slots and some card games. They’re back at the capitol to make sure an expansion for Vegas style casino resorts doesn’t leave them holding bad cards.

  26. #24
    I would love it they had it in Panama City. Have all profits go toward college tuition , room & board & books for students.

    I hate seeing homeless folks gambling their last few dollars but you can't tell them what to do.
    Happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

  27. #25
    I hope this happens. I guess it takes being broke for a state to wake up and realize a lot of grown-ups like to gamble. Might as well get some of the revenue and jobs in state. Having a lottery but no resort style casinos is the height of hypocrisy.

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    As I read the articles, we are already getting a great deal of revenue from gambling because of the deal made with the Seminoles.

    So Scott is literally gambling that breaking that deal and allowing other companies to come in will amount to more than the 1 BILLION we were guaranteed over the next 5 years.

  29. #27
    perhaps the Seminoles business is not BIG business enough...
    A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenda Wood View Post
    perhaps the Seminoles business is not BIG business enough...

    Not nearly after they get the Emerald Grand Casino and Resort up and going just minutes away from the new International Airport. The people that are going to lose on this deal are those Indians in Bruce, by the time they get all the hurdles cleared to be Federally recognized, full blown gambling will be pumping out the cash in Florida. I just hope they keep the smoking ban in place so I can go and enjoy. My Christmas trip to Biloxi was awful. You could not go anywhere without being basked in nicotine.


  31. #29
    I would think a couple of dozen casinos each in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Lake City, Pensacola, and Panama City Beach would generate a lot more revenue and vistors than a handful of measly native american places. Then again I never really understood how the system works and who the real money men are behind the Seminole nation.

    Why Lake City? I assume a lot of business would zip down I-75 from Atlanta, especially on weekends.

  32. #30
    Florida Senate committee gets glowing report on casinos - Legislature - MiamiHerald.com

    From the article:

    Jones said he's not worried about the impact of casino gambling on the state compact with the Seminole Tribe because the 20-year agreement with the state is subject to review in five years. In that time, the tribe guarantees it will pay the state at least $1 billion.
    ``If we were looking at destination gaming, it would take four to five years to build one of those complexes out,'' Jones said. ``It would not even impact the compact until the first card would play and that would be three or four years down the road and we're going on our second year of the compact. So that's really a nonissue at this point as far as I see it.''


  33. #31
    Could casinos awaken the ‘sleeping giant' in Florida? | casinos, florida, giant - Northwest Florida Daily News

    SANDESTIN — When it’s rolling the dice on the craps tables or besting the dealer in blackjack, Webster Franklin says Florida is a potential gold mine for gambling.

    “Florida is a sleeping giant,” said Franklin, executive director of the Tunica, Miss., Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s already the largest tourism attraction on the East Coast, so when you add that element to it, it’s just that much more money that would be put into the Florida economy.”

    Franklin and Beverly Martin, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Association, spoke to about 100 tourism and marketing professionals last week at the Southeast Tourism Society’s spring meeting at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

    Franklin told the crowd there was not much happening in Tunica County before 1994. At the time, there was not one four-lane highway and only one stoplight. The biggest news in town was the installation of a second stoplight.

    When local officials were approached about bringing casinos and gambling to the area, Franklin said they answered that the idea was crazy and that nobody would come to Tunica to gamble.

    Well, after collecting $650 million in gaming taxes since 1994, Franklin said it turned out pretty well.

    “We now have one of the best infrastructures around,” he said. “It transformed what we thought of ourselves in Tunica … It transformed, I think, the tourism industry of my state and somewhat of the Southeast.”

    Locally, Destin Mayor Sam Seevers said gambling has been discussed for years.

    “It was before my time on council,” she remembered. “People had been talking about it, saying it would help. There was a core group of people who supported it and wanted to do it, but from what I remember the outpouring of people who were against it was overwhelming.”

    More recently, Seevers said she was approached by a longtime Destin resident who was upset that the city didn’t have any gambling options.

    “It was surprising,” Seevers said after Franklin’s and Martin’s presentation. “They said it was a ‘missed opportunity.’ ”

    Back at Sandestin, Franklin said that in addition to the tax revenue, more than 30 million visitors came to Mississippi to visit the state’s 30 operating casinos in the last year.

    He said the gaming industry has been the catalyst that helped create the tourism environment that the state now is known for.

    In most places, however, gambling is still taboo, he added.

    “It’s still not recognized for the economic impact that it had, and for the image-changing ability it had for Mississippi,” Franklin said. “I think elected leaders in our states need to realize the value and to not say what’s always worked is going to continue to work.”

    Would gambling be accepted in Destin? Seevers said it was possible.

    “It might be something that’s worth discussing. It may come out that it’s something we don’t want to do, but who knows?”
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  34. #32
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    Interesting that Vision Airlines just moved to VPS...

  35. #33
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    Nawsir, I don't like it. I don't want casinos anywhere near here.

    Personally, I'd rather 'revenue' be generated by retail sales, tourism, and the usual business industries not based on vice. When a State starts looking to take advantage of vice, that's not a good thing. It's lazy leadership born of vision-limited officials' inability inspire or tap into other forms potential - so they take the 'easy' road paved of avaricious dreams that end up nightmarish reliances on vice-driven alliances. What is Atlantic City without it's vice dens? Nothing. Vegas? Nothing. Could they be more? Sure, if there were minds keen enough and balls large enough.

    From the seed of vice springs a tree that bears fruit with little nutritional value.

    Vision. Moxy. Creativity. Inspiration. Innovation. Industry. Leadership.

    Nah, screw that - let the State capitalize on and feed off of human weakness, temptation, and attraction to risk. Let's repackage it with neat terms like revenue generation, tax bases, jobs, and funding education. Let self-serving bureaucrats lord their ineptitude over liquor, casino gambling, sports betting, smoking, prostitution, horse racing, dog tracks, and eventually, female mud wrestling.

    That's my two cents worth. Put it all on red, baby - Papa needs a new addiction!

    Last edited by MrMentalFitness; 04-04-2011 at 11:43 PM.

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  37. #34
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    I really don't care one way or the other but I certainly see nothing wrong with it provided it increases state revenues. I quit gambling years ago but it can be addictive. But then, so can cocaine, smoking and other vices. Live and let live.
    I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart

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