Legislature Should Finally Help Florida Gambling Industry

Legislature Should Finally Help Florida Gambling Industry


Par Le soleil de la Floride

It is difficult to see why the Florida legislature would not allow Las Vegas Casinos in Florida in order to compete with adjoin states and the Bahamas. It seems that maybe the gambling industry will stop contributing to members of the Florida legislature or their numerous committees if the present casinos in Florida were allowed to offer the same games as the casinos in Las Vegas, Mississippi, Louisiana and the grand Bahamas not far from our Florida coast. Florida also runs a state lottery as well as numerous gambling games and this is not opposed by the members of the legislature who profess an opposition to gambling on religious grounds. It may still look like a construction site from the outside, but the Dania Jai Alai casino is back in business with a flashy new look and a new name.

 

The Casino at Dania Beach just spent $60 million to completely make over the casino and other facilities on their property. No one can claim that this does not help the economy of Florida during and after the extensive construction that occurred at this casino. The casino does not only offer gambling but also several restaurants which attract and serve the tourist industry of Florida. Why should we basically punish these casinos by taxing at a much higher rate than other casinos around the world? We tried to tax them out of business when the public voted a constitutional amendment allowing counties, such as Broward and Miami-Dade, to allow casinos to operate in those counties.

The new casino in Dania will have 900 slot machines, a 21-table poker room, a simulcast area, an electronic gaming room with craps, blackjack and roulette plus sports bars and restaurants. It offers shows and concerts and that is what Florida’s tourist industry is all about.

Probably because of the high taxes imposed on Florida casinos, the initial plans for a 500-room hotel was cancelled.

Florida imposes a 35% tax on all revenues of slot machines. This is double the tax imposed on casinos in other states. It also imposes other restrictions such as a limit on hours of operation of slot operations. These restrictions were enacted to make it difficult for casinos to operate their casinos in the two counties. The Republican led legislature opposed gambling so they made sure that if the constitutional amendment passed by the voters of Florida allowing slot machines could not survive with such a high tax on slot machines being imposed by the legislature. The will of the people does not control the Florida legislature as the legislature follows the demands of special interests who donate millions to members of the legislature and their political committees.

You have cruise ships with their permanent docks in Florida who are allowed to open their casinos upon reaching international waters without paying any taxes to the State of Florida.