Why 95% of Patrons to Florida Casinos Would Be Locals
One of the most revealing findings of the $400,000 the gambling study commissioned by Florida Legislature is that 95% of the patrons of mega-casinos in Florida would be Floridians. Despite claims by casino interests that their facilities would be a draw for tourists, mounting evidence across the country proves that they would merely suck money out of local economies by preying on locals.
The irony is that the casino gambling industry has been so successful getting it’s product localized across the country, that it is no longer a draw for tourists, and it is begun to cannibalize itself. Once-successful destination casino economies are in the tank. Atlantic City is on taxpayer subsidized life support and the New York Times article below chronicles the closing of a major casino in Mississippi this week and the loss of nearly 1000 jobs that will result.
Floridians and our legislators should laugh off industry claims that casinos would draw tourists, and instead read this quote in the article below:
“There’s gambling everywhere,” said Allen Godfrey, the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, which reported that the state’s nontribal casinos posted $2.1 billion in gross gambling revenues last year. “If you just want to gamble, you don’t have to go very far to do it.”
That’s why casinos in Florida won’t be a draw for tourists.
Harrah’s Tunica Casino to Close, Hinting at Gambling Glut
TUNICA RESORTS, Miss. — At the height of a recent dinner hour at Mississippi’s largest casino, fewer than two dozen patrons were seated in the buffet’s dining room. A nearby jewelry display sat aglow but bare. The hallways were mostly empty.
This is what happens when a casino resort approaches an inglorious end. And on Monday, Harrah’s Tunica will close, which company officials say will most likely lead to up to 950 job losses. In Tunica County in the impoverished Mississippi Delta, it is a disquieting reality that underlines the deeper threat facing Mississippi and other states with legalized gambling: There may be too many casinos chasing too few gambling dollars.
Read the full article online here.
Contact: John Sowinski