Florida Gambling Study Stalls: Results aren’t as Pro-Gambling Expansion as Some Hoped

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts of pro-gambling interests to influence the voters and advance gambling expansion in Florida.  The Legislature hired a biased firm, with clear ties to gambling, to conduct a study to determine gambling expansion’s impact in Florida.  Many questions have been raised and alternative studies have been offered, but the results are in and some are stalling because they don’t like the results.  The Jacksonville Business Journal explains the study indicated only a moderate economic up tick in expanded gambling.  These results possibly allow room to still advocate expansion, but they certainly don’t provide the big impact some were looking for from the study.  The official results are being stalled while questions are being asked.  The Jacksonville Business Journal reports:

A $400,000 gambling report will be delayed because it is too confusing and needs to be reviewed for accuracy, according to Senate Gaming Committee Chairman Garrett Richter, R-Naples.

A draft of the report obtained by The News Service of Florida on Monday and released to the public Tuesday evening concluded that even a full-blown casino wonderland would do little to help Florida’s finances, and could even hurt.

“Overall, Spectrum believes that the expansion of casino gambling, whether on a small scale or very large scale, would have, at best, a moderately positive impact on the state economy,” the draft report said.

While the “vast majority of the report is in its final form,” Spectrum needed more time to “answer questions posed by State Economist Amy Baker and clarify statistical tables related to the REMI economic impact model,” Gaetz, who along with Weatherford signed off on the delay, wrote in a memo to the Senate late Tuesday.

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