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Economists shrink $1 billion promise of Senate gambling bill

The legislature's economists threw cold water on the vaunted projections of the Senate's ambitious gambling bill bringing in more than $1 billion. The real number should be closer to $400 million, with the new money coming from giving the Seminole Tribe full casino gambling, the economists said. But the net effect of opening more games for parimutuels is an immediate decline in net revenue.

Here's a link to the report:

Here's a breakdown of their conclusions:

· Allowing slot machines operators to pay taxes on a monthly basis, rather than a weekly basis would reduce the revenue to the state by $12.2 million in the first year and and $19.9 million in the first full year. Taxable income would have to increase by 43 percent for this change to be neutral. “This could be due to an increase in the number of machines or an increase in the amount of income per machine, or a combination of both,” the report concludes.

· Reducing the annual license fee by $1 million results in a net loss of $6 million.

· Giving horse and dog tracks and jai alai frontons Class II slot machines, in which the players are pitted against each other, would raise $18.6 million next year and as much as $59.8 million in the first year, $97.3 million in the second year and $130 million in the third year.

· The tax on Class II machines is estimated to raise $139 million in the first full year and the annual license fee will result in $16 million in new revenue.

·  Lottery sales are expected to decline $8.5 million because of these increased games.

· The requirement that operators of Class II games pay into the fund for gambling addiction raises $4 million for the program. 

· If Miami Dade and Broward racinos offer blackjack in their cardrooms, they will raise $20,000 to $35,000 in first year.

· Increasing hours at racinos from 18 hours a day to 24 hours a day and raising the betting limits from $2 to $5 on cards, raises $7 million in new money in the first full year and $6.4 million next year.

· Allowing rebroadcast of unidentified historical races could raise $2 million in new revenue.