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Slot Machine Gaming Action Sets a Record in South Florida, but Taxpayers are Still Screwed

Posted by Samantha A. on Tuesday, August 9, 2016


South Florida’s racetrack casinos paid a total of 187.9 million dollars in taxes on their slot machines this past year; this was to surpass last year’s record that was a total of 182.5 million dollars.  Miami casinos were mostly up while Broward casinos generally went down.

The state of Florida receives a total of 35 percent of the revenue that comes from slot machines.  The eight casinos that are at dog tracks, horse tracks as well as jai-alai frontons earned 537 million dollars via slot machine gaming in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016 according to state figures that were reported.  This is approximately a 3 percent increase from the 521 million dollars that the same casinos made in the year of 2014-2015.

Slot machines that are racetracks are only legal within South Florida; this is due to the 2004 constitutional amendment that was approved by 50.8 percent of voters within Florida.  Miami-Dade as Broward then had spate referendums as well.

While 187 million dollars is nothing to sneeze at, it is still much less than was expected more than a decade ago.  In the year of 2004, proponents of these slot machine referendums stated that these slot machines could ultimately raise up to 500 million dollars per year in tax revenue.  At this time the state’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research compared revenues from similar casinos and found that slot machine gaming would in general generate any where between 200 million dollars to 500 million dollars which depended on the tax rate that was set by legislatures. The tax rate in Florida started off at 50 percent than in the year of 2010 it was dropped to 35 percent.

Tax money that is generated from slot machine gaming could ultimately grow very quickly after a Florida Supreme Court case has been decided.

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