Is Tampa Bay Next for Mega Casinos?

Three massive, resort-style casinos may be coming to South Florida, under a bill filed Wednesday by state legislators.

The multibillion dollar resorts, expected to be an international destination, would bring in millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

State Senator Jack Latvala (R-St. Petersburg) says given Florida’s economic struggles, now is the time to roll the dice on larger casinos.

“I’ve heard estimates of 30, 40,000 new jobs.  I think we need those jobs,” Latvala said.

But bringing all that to the Tampa Bay area may be another story.

Voters in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties previously approved expanded gambling.

It’s possible the same would have to happen here.

“There’s going to be a lot of concerns about bringing destination casinos to the Tampa Bay area and I’m not ready to say I support that,” Latvala told 10 News, adding he would expect concerns from families about who that might attract to the region.

New casinos could put places like Derby Lane or Tampa Bay Downs out of business.

However, a similar proposal to expand gambling didn’t make it very far in the state legislature last year.

10 News