September 26, 2013
The firm that the Florida Legislature hired to provide economic analysis on different gambling policy options for Florida has a track record of painting pretty pictures about what will happen if casinos come. But how accurate have their predictions been lately?
“Just the tonic that Atlantic City needs,” Spectrum Gaming Group boasted of the Revel Casino in 2009.
Yet Revel declared bankruptcy within a year of opening – despite a $261 million long-term tax break. That’s right, “the tonic that Atlantic City needs” has become a quarter of a billion dollar taxpayer bailout.
“Atlantic City is going to hit bottom at some point in the foreseeable future,” said Joe Weinert, Spectrum’s senior vice president and gaming analyst, in March 2011. “But I think you’re starting to see signs of its turnaround.”
Yet today Atlantic City casinos still struggle.
So when Spectrum tells us how good casinos will be for Florida, don’t bet on it.
Contact: Michael Murphy