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DeSantis signs historic gaming compact with Florida Seminole Tribe

by | Apr 23, 2021


Florida’s not folding on gaming in 2021, with Governor Ron DeSantis signing a groundbreaking compact with the Florida Seminole Tribe that, if ratified by lawmakers, and if it survives legal scrutiny, will modernize the gaming industry in the state.

Those are two very big “ifs.”

Announced on the House floor by Speaker Chris Sprowls, DeSantis struck a deal with the Seminoles on Friday — just one week before the 2021 Legislative Session was set to end. With details of the deal still pending, Sprowls told House members that the legislature will reconvene for a special session during the week on May 17 to deal with the future of gaming in the Sunshine State.

The new gaming deal is expected to give the Tribe exclusive rights over sports betting in the state, allowing the Tribe to open statewide mobile sports wagering, as well as retail sportsbooks, which would only be offered through their own Hard Rock facilities, as well as through state pari-mutuels.

The Tribe would also be able to add three additional casinos, as well as add craps and roulette gaming exclusively. In return, the Seminoles would pay the state of Florida $500 million a year, or $150 million more than the old deal. The agreement will generate the state a minimum of $2.5 billion in new revenue over the next five years and an estimated $6 billion through 2030.

After years of failed negotiations, the new compact will expand Florida’s gaming scene, giving the third-most populated state in the country an avenue to allow millions of Floridians and tourists to wager on sports.

Prior to today’s compact, the Seminole Tribe loomed large in Florida’s gambling scene. For years, the group had a deal with the state granting them exclusivity for certain types of gambling, including slots, roulette, blackjack, and similar table games. But in 2019, the Seminoles successfully claimed in court the state’s failure to install “a mechanism to shut down illegal banked card games” at some competing casinos violated the compact, and it was not renewed in 2019, costing the state about $350 million per year.

DeSantis officially announced the blockbuster compact on Twitter, noting the heavy lifting it took from Tribe Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. and GOP leadership in the House and Senate.

“This historic compact expands economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation, and bolsters the fiscal success of our state in one fell swoop for the benefit of all Floridians and Seminoles alike,” DeSantis following the deal. “Our agreement establishes the framework to generate billions in new revenue and untold waves of positive economic impact. I would like to thank Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., Senate President Wilton Simpson, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their collective commitment to modernizing the gaming industry in the state of Florida and setting the bar for the rest of the nation.”

To view the full compact, click here.

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Great good for you how about the mentally ill could they aleast get some of those taxes becuse when theres a tragedy you promised help

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    This is must be brought by the real Seminoles tribe which still hiding afraid that they may prosecuted for past event that pushed them into hiding and so I would assumed all casino will not over taken by white American and only by tribe itself and the management and their money. State or any one who may claimed will fail of nature to why casino exist. And see more problem reasoning registered crime groups who thinks she has a right to given privileges associated with acitivist around Simpson Harris Baldwin (fashion nova) the most disturbing placed I have ever seen..seing all kinds if criminal going on and everyone is either blind of deaf like it is normal. No is not is an insult to the Indians reputation.

    Reply

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