Floridians Frustrated by Lack of Gambling Opportunities
By Linda
A survey found that 2.32 million Floridians gambled at a casino in 2001. But almost half visited casinos outside of the Sunshine State, a survey by Roper Reports and the U.S. Gaming Panel has found.

Gary Loveman, Harrah's Entertainment president and chief operating officer, said the Florida numbers show pent-up demand.

Two nationwide studies were commissioned by Las Vegas casino operator Harrah's. They found that over 50 million Americans visit casinos as their entertainment choice.

'There are significant gambling dollars being spent out-of-state by Florida players,' Loveman said. 'If Florida chooses to expand casino gambling opportunities, it could generate needed tax revenues, jobs and capital investment simply by recapturing this spending.'

The top casino destinations for Floridians were Florida Indian casinos with 58 percent of all casino trips, Gulf Coast casinos with 11 percent and cruise ships and Las Vegas accounting for 16 percent of casino trips.

More than 50 million Americans visited casinos last year. The typical gambler is middle-aged and more likely to be female, Loveman said.

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