The racetrack casinos in South Florida were responsible for generating $187.9 million in slot machine tax revenue this fiscal. This was a growth of $5.4 million when compared to the last fiscal but still a long ways off from the initial estimate made by gaming analysts in 2004 who suggested that taxes from slot machine revenue could go up to $500 million.
Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research had compared revenue generated from similar casinos and expected slot machines to generate anywhere between $200 to $500 million each year based on the tax percentage that the legislature agreed upon. The initial tax rate was fixed at fifty percent before being reduced in 2010 to thirty five percent. Casinos in South Florida have continued to focus on slot machine revenue as the poker market has remained rather sluggish.
The poker market in South Florida generated a total of $41 million when compared to the combined slot revenue that stood at $537 million. While random number generators are used in slot machines to determine each individual spin and final result, casino managers are able to figure out how much each slot machine generates due to the programmable chip deployed in each slot machine.
While the taxes generated from slot machines are yet to meet initial estimates, casinos in Miami-Dade have continued to do well. Leading the pack was the Magic City Casino which brought in $74 million, Hialeah Park came in second with $68 million and Casino Miami stood in third place with $61 million. Hialeah Park and Casino Miami experienced a growth of around $4 million when compared to last fiscal.
A constitutional amendment in 2004 received a 50.8 approval from voters in Florida which permitted racetrack casinos in South Florida to offer slot machine games. These eight casinos at dog tracks, horse tracks and jai-alai frontons have generated $537 in slot machine revenue for the year ending June 30. This was a growth of around three percent based on state figures which put slot machine revenue in 2014-15 at $521 million.
The Seminole tribe which runs seven casinos in Florida generated a combined total of around $2.2 billion from slot machines, poker and table games. However the Seminoles did not reveal their exact slot machine revenue as they are not required to do so as per tribal law.
Slot machine revenue in the state could increase based on a Florida Supreme court ruling. The courts are looking into the language used by the legislature which allowed the Hialeah Park casino to offer slot machine games to its offering. The casino was not part of the original referendum and if the courts rule in favor of Hialeah, an additional six counties will be able to offer slot machine games.