A recent study on gambling by the Republican-controlled state Legislature concludes that bringing large casinos to Florida will have a ‘moderately positive impact’ on the economy. That is the central finding of a $400,000 report done for the Florida Legislature and presented to the Senate Gambling Committee by Spectrum Gaming Group, a New Jersey research firm hired to assess the economic effects and social costs of expanded gambling in Florida.

Senator Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and Chairman of a Senate committee studying gambling who released the 500 pages draft report, examined all sorts of different scenarios and said the report is strictly a resource. It would not be a reason for the Legislature to end its debate over what kind of gambling should be allowed, he said.

Meanwhile, an online survey by the University of Florida done for the report found that expanded gambling could draw more tourists. Almost 15% of its tourists responded that they would stay longer to gamble, while nearly four percent of tourists said they would be less likely to come to Florida if it were a gambling haven. Gambling fans were estimated to spend $412 per person more, the survey found.