An annual industry report shows that Indian gaming in Florida had slow growth in 2010 after two years of double-digit increases — but still raked in $2.06 billion.
After years of dramatic growth, Florida’s eight tribal casinos — all but one operated by the Seminole Tribe — came back down to earth in 2010, growing by a scant 1 percent, according to a widely respected industry publication.
As sovereign entities, tribes generally are not required to divulge their gaming revenues, but Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report has for years used a combination of public and private data to generate rough estimates. One way that author Alan Meister has gained tribes’ trust is by publishing his findings on a state-by-state basis. There are no revenue estimates for individual properties.
The Seminole Tribe operates seven casinos scattered across the state, including Hard Rock-branded casino hotels near Hollywood and Tampa. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians operates Florida’s eighth casino, located in West Miami-Dade.
Though Florida’s slow tribal earningss are compatible a larger trend — u.s.a. tribal incomes as an entire additionally larger just one p.c — the 2010 figures break a -yr streak of Florida’s expansion some distance exceeding nationwide reasonables. In 2008, Florida tribal gaming incomes jumped 18 %, simply eclipsing the national average of one.five percent. A yr later, in 2009, Indian gaming income if truth be told dipped quite for the first time ever, but Florida still noticed its incomes upward thrust by 10 %.
It was the Seminoles’ foray into offering Las Vegas-style slot machines and table games such as blackjack that fueled the double-digit growth of previous years. In 2010, however, the tribe’s additions were less dramatic: a new Hard Rock Cafe restaurant at the Tampa casino, and a new parking garage at the Hard Rock location near Hollywood.
Seminole spokesman Gary Bitner didn’t dispute the accuracy of the income estimates but mentioned it was important to notice that Meister’s file is for the 2010 calendar 12 months, and that a lot has came about since then. The Seminoles lately completed a $one hundred fifty million expansion of their Coconut Creek on line casino in northern Broward County — a diffusion that more than doubled its gaming floor. In Tampa, the tribe expects to wrap up a $seventy five million growth in June.
“The growth is still happening,” Bitner told The Miami Herald. “The Coconut Creek casino is off to a great start with its expansion.”
Florida’s tribal casinos raked in an envisioned $2.06 billion in 2010 — sufficient for the state to keep the No. 4 national rating. With nearly $6.8 billion in tribal gaming revenues, California led all states, followed via Oklahoma ($three.2 billion) and then Connecticut ($2.13 billion), which simplest fairly outpaced Florida.
Meister’s report cited larger economic factors for Indian gaming’s modest growth: The recession, along with lower consumer confidence and higher unemployment, cut into casino business, the study said, while restricted lending and costlier financing reduced casino development and major expansions and renovations.
Despite the ones problems, tribal casinos are nonetheless outperforming commercial casinos comparable to Harrah’s and Las Vegas Sands. For now, business houses cling a slightly greater marketplace percentage — forty five p.c to tribal casinos’ 44 p.c — however income at business casinos declined 0.1 percent in 2010 and the businesses are anticipated to soon be overtaken by Indian casinos.
Racino properties, which combine activities like horse racing with slot machines, account for 11 percent of U.S. market share.
Indian casinos appeal to gamblers because they’re newer and operate in markets with less competition, Meister said.
“They’re in areas where there wasn’t gaming before,” he told the Associated Press. “It’s closer to the people. It can be a day trip. It does not need to be a weekend in Vegas or Atlantic City.”
When it involves the tribal landscape in Florida, on the other hand, Meister’s report paints a cloudy image. The document notes that the Seminoles are anticipated to proceed making an investment and upgrading their gambling facilities, however on the similar time state lawmakers have been making an allowance for permitting huge-scale vacation spot hotels to be authorized here. Such resorts, if licensed, could most likely be operated through international playing powerhouses such because the Genting workforce or Las Vegas Sands — corporations that represent a level of festival a lot stiffer than anything the Seminoles have up to now had to cope with.
Though the Legislature has postponed any decision on destination resort legislation until at least next year, Meister notes that such facilities “might have a negative impact on Indian gaming.”