Florida Ranks 4th Among US States In Economic Impact From Casinos

Written By TJ McBride on October 18, 2023 - Last Updated on October 19, 2023
An aerial shot of Hard Rock Hollywood Casino and Hotel on a story about the economic impact of casinos on Florida.

According to a recent study from the American Gaming Association, the 1,005 casinos across the country have had a $328.6 billion annual economic impact. That is in addition to 1.8 million jobs supported by casinos and an incredible $52.7 billion of taxes collected as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Clearly, casinos have had a massive impact on the US economy in multiple ways. And that impact can be seen in Florida. The economic impact from casinos in Florida was $7.55 billion. That ranked The Sunshine State fourth in the US and led to $1.56 billion of tax impact.

Just think what sports betting and online casinos could do for Florida’s economy if they ever become legal here.

How many casinos in Florida drive the economic impact?

The state of Florida has just 15 total casinos – eight commercial casinos and seven tribal casinos. Florida online casinos are illegal, as is online poker. Sports betting is currently being fought in the courts and could be legalized in a limited form soon.

So, really, it’s amazing that Florida enjoys the fourth-largest economic impact from casinos when it has so few of them.

Here are how the top 10 states ranked by economic impact and how many casinos each state houses, according to the AGA survey:

  1. Nevada: $55.96 billion economic impact; 220 casinos
  2. California: $19.96 billion; 85 casinos
  3. Oklahoma: $9.8 billion; 142 casinos
  4. Florida: $7.55 billion; 15 casinos
  5. New York: $6.55 billion; 31 casinos
  6. New Jersey: $6.45 billion; 9 casinos
  7. Pennsylvania: $6.34 billion; 16 casinos
  8. Michigan: $6.28 billion; 26 casinos
  9. Louisiana: $6.13 billion; 24 casinos
  10. Washington: $5.39 billion; 35 casinos

Florida is punching above its weight class with so much money coming from so few casinos compared to the rest of the states in the top five.

Tribal casinos across The Sunshine State are a massive reason why Florida is so high up the list. Those seven tribal casinos have accounted for $6.15 billion, which would be ninth overall on their own, and is 81.5% of Florida’s entire economic impact.

Florida’s casino industry supports over 54,000 jobs

The Florida casino industry also excelled in jobs supported and taxes collected from casino gambling.

Florida’s $1.56 billion in taxes collected ranked it sixth in the US. The number of jobs supported by the industry was the fourth highest in the US.

Here are the top 10 states for tax impact along with the number of jobs supported by the casino industry:

  1. Nevada: $8.27 billion tax impact; 410,456 jobs supported
  2. California: $3.45 billion; 124,274 jobs
  3. Pennsylvania: $2.48 billion; 33,171 jobs
  4. New York: $2.03 billion; 25,784 jobs
  5. Oklahoma: $1.69 billion; 75,885 jobs
  6. Florida: $1.56 billion; 54,142 jobs
  7. Louisiana: $1.5 billion; 40,919 jobs
  8. Michigan: $1.3 billion; 37,911 jobs
  9. New Jersey: $1.19 billion; 39,007 jobs
  10. Washington: $768.9 million; 35,044 jobs

Once again, Florida’s tribal casinos propelled it toward the top of the leaderboard. Eighty-five percent of all casino jobs are supported by tribal casinos. That is 45,962 jobs, which would rank fifth in the nation on its own.

On top of that, tribal casinos accounted for $1.14 billion of tax impact, while commercial casinos contributed just $420 million, according to the report.

Sports wagering could provide even larger impact in Florida

Florida still does not have sports betting available. There is currently a court battle being waged that could allow tribal casinos to host both mobile and retail sports wagering.

The court battle has to do with a tribal gaming compact Florida signed with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2021. That compact allowed the tribe to host retail sportsbooks and mobile sports betting servers on tribal lands for anyone in the state to utilize. This essentially circumvented legislation necessary to legalize sports betting in Florida by simply allowing tribes to host the servers taking in the wagers on their lands.

Recently, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the case should be heard in state court. West Flagler Associates and the Bonita-Fort Meyers Corporation, which were suing over the compact, immediately petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to hear the case.

At the same time, West Flagler was granted a five-day stay by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The request being granted is not an indication of a win or a loss for either party. It is simply a temporary stay – just five days – to allow for a full briefing.

If the Supreme Court decides to grant a formal stay, sports betting in Florida could be halted until the High Court decides to hear the case or not.

Photo by Brynn Anderson/AP
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TJ McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver. He covers the gaming landscape across multiple states in addition to his main beat covering the NBA's Denver Nuggets. His NBA work can be found at several major media outlets including ESPN, FiveThirtyEight and Bleacher Report.

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