For the fiscal year ending June 30, slot revenue from South Florida’s eight parimutuels increased about 5 percent, from 7 million in 2013-2014 to 1.6 million. Slot machines are legal at Broward and Miami-Dade racetrack casinos and at eight Native American casinos, which are not required to release slot revenues or payback percentages. The state taxes slot revenue at 35 percent which has generated 2 million for Florida so far this year.
Chad Beynon, vice president and senior analyst for Gaming and Leisure at Macquarie Capital in New York, said, “Florida was one of the best performers in the country in 2014, and it’s one of the best performers since
markets in the country given wage growth, employment trends and home prices.”
The Isle Casino in Pompano Beach posted revenue of $145.6 million, a $12 million increase over the previous year, and more than double the business of six other casinos, excluding Magic City Casino which posted revenue of $80 million. However, analysts state figures show the casino took in $2 billion, compared with $2.18 billion in 2013-14. The higher revenue is due to the casino’s “hold, meaning the machines were configured to pay out less paid out less. The Isle’s payout percentage was 91.57 percent, compared with 92.88 the year before, so overall the casino took in more money. Also, that $2 billion figure is “coin in,” which is much higher than the total amount players spend. Gambling expert Mark Pilarski of Casino City Times also said Isle players could be playing lower-denomination machines.
Beynon stated, “The Isle has a great location, revamped strategy and opportunity to extend onto the property with a convention center or hotel.” He said Isle could benefit if the legislature allows expanded gambling, since it owns 223 acres. “We think they’ll move forward on a project that makes the Isle an even more powerful player in the market,” Beynon said.
Isle officials said the higher revenue figures also could be attributed to an improved loyalty program, new “targeted non-gaming amenities” and a new menu at its restaurant.
Opened in August 2013, Hialeah Park revenue was up to $64.1 million this year versus $51.6 million in 2013-14 when it was open only 10 months. Gulfstream Park Racing, which increased its horseracing sessions this year, took in $49.1 million compared to Mardi Gras’ $47.9 million, almost a reversal from the prior year.