Florida's casinos revenue rises in 2009

Casinos were once considered largely “recession-proof,” but the deep economic slump of the past few years did serious damage to the profits of casino havens such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, however, can still boast of prospering in a down economy. Tribal gaming revenues in Florida – comprised primarily of the Seminoles’ seven casinos – were up an estimated 10 percent in 2009, according to the just-released 2011 Indian Gaming Industry Report, published by Casino City Press.

All told, Florida Indian casinos grossed roughly $2 billion in 2009, the report states.

That year’s 10 percent jump came on top of an 18 percent revenue increase for Florida tribal casinos in 2008. Indian gaming nationally has in recent years fared better than commercial Vegas-type casinos, in part because tribal casinos tend to be located closer to home.

But the numbers included in economist Alan Meister’s new gaming report show Florida’s Indian casinos are even more successful than the average tribal gaming facility.

For example: nationwide, Indian gaming revenue actually fell in 2009 for the first time in its history, dropping 1 percentage point. Commercial casinos experienced an 8 percent drop.

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