Tampa, Florida -- Is the Tampa Hard Rock really the world's sixth largest casino? You bet, says the Seminole Tribe following a $75 million expansion that includes more slots, more parking, another restaurant and a renovated pool area.
Based on the number ofgaming positions, or seats at gaming tables, or slot machines, Hard Rock officials say there are onlyfive casinos bigger in the world. The casino floor is now bigger thanfive football fields combined.
"I don't think anyone could have imagined how well [the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino] was going to be embraced by the community and the growth that was going to happen from it," Tampa Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino V.P. of Sales and Marketing Doug Hoppe told 10 News.
The hotel and casino now employs more than 3,300 people, up from 1,800 when the Seminole Tribe opened the casino in 2004. The Tampa facility also has an annual payroll of roughly $74 million, according to Hard Rock officials.
With the latest expansion, the casino now boasts more than 5,000 slot machines, 110 table games and 50 poker tables.
But Hard Rock officials say they may not be done yet. The Seminole master plan calls for a hotel expansion that would nearly triple the number of rooms currently available.
Officials would not say if or when work on that part of the master plan would begin.