House panel unsatisfied with gaming study’s conclusions

Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 02:14 PM.

A Spectrum representative clarified that groups of individuals and businesses would most likely impacted, not whole counties, noting the casinos compete with some businesses while complementing others. In rural Washington County, the Ebro track’s expansion could steal hotel guests and restaurant patrons from existing facilities, but it would offer locals more dining options, draw in more tourists and create more jobs, likely at higher pay.

It can come down to a matter of perspective, said Michael Pollock, Spectrum’s managing director. If a casino comes to town, it can increase the prevailing wage rate, drawing workers from a neighboring county with a weaker economy. From the workers’ standpoint it’s a positive, but from the businesses standpoint it’s a negative, he said.


‘Rorschach test’

The study also was criticized as supporting all sides and thus supporting no sides.

“As I’ve read the report and heard the reactions to the report … it has sort of become this session’s version of a Rorschach test, where everyone can stare at the ink blot and see what they want to see,” said state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach.

Pollock agreed that the report’s complexity allows people to support or refute their particular positions.

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