Fla. economist casts doubt on casino job figures

Mar 21, 2009 1:21 AM
Staff & Wire Reports |

The Legislature's top economist is warning lawmakers that the Seminole Tribe's promise of jobs and an economic jolt from their planned casino expansions will provide may come with costs.

The Seminoles say if lawmakers approve the agreement they signed with Gov. Crist to expand gambling, it could create 45,000 jobs and add $4.5 billion to the state's economy when new hotels and convention facilities are built.

But economist Amy Baker told a House committee Friday to look at those numbers skeptically.

The jobs could come at the expense of jobs lost at race tracks or existing convention centers.

Also, Indian profits can't be taxed, and people could be spending money there instead of at businesses where sales are taxed.