Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.
Genting's Resorts World Miami may have the most concrete and eye popping plans, but if the Florida legislature approves resort-style casinos don't expect it to be the only mega gambling venue to pop up in our community. Two South Florida Republicans are preparing to unveil their gambling bill as early as this week, and the plan would allow, if not encourage, three multi-billion dollar casino resorts in Broward and Miami-Dade.
Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, and Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, could file their identical bills as early as Friday, and according to The Herald
those bills will allow three casinos. Any company bidding for the gaming licenses would have to make at least a $2 billion-dollar investment in the facilities.
In other words, these casinos would have a big, immediate economic impact on the area. Of course, with that would come other big, immediate impacts on traffic, local culture, crime, and the competitiveness of non-casino resorts.
Though, the bill would control the actual gambling somewhat. Only 10 percent of the square footage of the resorts could be dedicated to the casinos. The gaming area would also have to be visually blocked off from the rest of the resort, so, you know, non-gambling visitors won't be subjected to the visual scourge of roulette wheels, we guess.
As for taxes: the state would only collect a 10 percent tax on net gaming profits from the casinos. That's compared to the 35 percent taxes levied on parimutuel gaming facilities.
With Genting's plans moving fulls peed ahead, other large gambling resort companies are now looking at South Florida with hungry eyes. Earlier this week we learned that Las Vegas Sands was looking into taking control
of a large portion of the Park West district of Downtown to build its own casino resort (though, they say they'd only move forward if they had an exclusive gaming license in Miami-Dade, something not in the cards under the bills).
Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment is rumored to be in talks with Gulfstream Park, and now Wynn Resorts is looking at possibilities. The Seminole tribe, which operates the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, would also like to expand its operations, and several parimutuels are looking to get in on the action as well.
Seems like Genting's plans for the Herald site may have opened this Pandora's box of gambling. First it's three casinos in South Florida, but who know whats the future holds.
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