State gaming revenue rises to $2.1 billion
TAMPA - Gaming revenue in Florida is on the rise after two years of decline. According to data released Wednesday in the North American Gaming Almanac, gaming revenue in the state reached $2.1 billion in 2010, a 3 percent increase from the year before. The gain is attributed to a 40 percent increase year-over-year in casino and card room revenue to $445.4 million. Those gains have offset declines in lottery revenue and racing and sports gambling. Nationwide, gambling activity in 2010, the most recent data available, increased 0.03 percent to $88.1 billion, the report indicated. "Many states continue to look to gaming to solve their budget problems either by increasing the tax rates gaming operators pay of by introducing new forms of gaming," noted the report by Casino City Press, a leading publisher of gaming industry information."By adding video lottery terminals, video gaming machines and slots to horse tracks, initiating new lottery games, allowing video bingo and by widening the scope of tribal gaming, legislators have been very aggressive in promoting gaming as a way to fill the tax coffers of their states." The report noted that the Florida Legislature in February withdrew a bill allowing resort casinos. In April, the Florida Supreme Court ruled slot machines may be allowed anywhere in the state.
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