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Florida up for sale to highest casino bidder? Economist says it pays

Legislative economist Amy Baker told the House Committee on Seminole Indian Compact Review that if the state were willing to auction off licenses for eight new casinos in Florida, the state could draw between $2.3 billion and $1.5 billion in additional money a year, over and above what it could make from an Indian gaming compact.

The it would come with a price: the state would have to wait at three years to see the cash

"Using very conservative assumptions, it is feasible for Florida to have an auction for eight facility licenses,'' Baker said. "We also believe Florida would generate significantly more state revenue than the proposed state compact would generate over a four year period…But there's some considerations and these thiings are things you are going ot have to bear in mind."

Among the considerations: the state would have no receipts for the first years while the new casinos are being built; the state would lose the money it's now getting from the Seminole Tribe, estimated at $433 million by the end of this fiscal year and $125.5 million going forward, and the situation would result in a "net increase in gaming in Florida."