Slot machine revenues beat expectations

As pari-mutuel facilities returned to more-normal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, state tax collections from slot machines topped expectations.

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A report released Monday said slot-machine tax collections totaled $241 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, beating an earlier forecast of $231.2 million.

But the state Revenue Estimating Conference report said slot-machine revenue is expected to grow slowly during the current fiscal year and upcoming years, pointing to “increased national economic headwinds and the delayed impact that inflation may have on consumers as they readjust spending habits to account for the losses in disposable income.”

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The Revenue Estimating Conference said it has already seen signs of slowing.

“After strong growth early in the year, June collections fell below the prior year and preliminary July data looked to do the same,” the report said.

Slot-machine tax revenue is forecast to inch up to $242.6 million in the current year, which started July 1. Pari-mutuels in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have slot machines, but pari-mutuels in the rest of the state cannot offer the games.