Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sands ready to bet on casino gambling in Florida

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. is pitching to Florida lawmakers today a plan to build an operate as many as four casinos, including in the Tampa area, to compete against tribal casinos. has a few details of the proposal:
Executives from Las Vegas Sands is scheduled to introduce a proposal to Florida Legislatures today to bring Vegas style casinos to the state and add competition to the gaming monopoly now controlled by the Seminole Tribe.

Sands is proposing that expanding gambling and allowing non tribal casinos to enter the market will bolster the state’s economy and tourism industry.

Under Sands proposal the state would except up to four bids to build resort casinos in areas including Tampa and South Florida to attract international convention business.

The proposal also states that no more than 10% of the floor space would be devoted to casino games.

Sands stresses that while the offerings would add competition to the Seminole Tribe, the new casinos would not compete against the state’s pari-mutuel industry as long as they were also allowed to install slot machines at the tracks.

“Their market is not the market we are looking to attract,” said Andy Abboud, vice president of Las Vegas Sands Government Relations, “The pari-mutuels appeal to a regional market, while the Sands’ project would attract visitors from South America and Europe.”

Sands currently operates eight casinos: three each in Las Vegas and Macau, in East Asia; and one each in Singapore and Bethlehem, Penn.

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