Gambling revenue to finance $450M annually in environmental conservation

by | Mar 7, 2024

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill, awaiting Governor Ron DeSantis’ signature, that dedicates a minimum of $450 million annually from gambling revenues to environmental conservation efforts.

The Florida Legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis that would earmark hundreds of millions of dollars annually from gambling revenue to fund environmental conservation projects.

The legislation aims to allocate at least $450 million each year toward the preservation and maintenance of the state’s wildlife corridors, the eradication of invasive species, and infrastructure upgrades from septic to sewer systems.

The Legislature further recognizes that as the state acquires land, it needs to be a good steward of the land, which necessitates the need for a commitment to provide funding at levels sufficient to ensure the proper management of such lands,” reads the bill.

Passed unanimously by both chambers, the House’s approval on Tuesday follows the Senate’s vote last month, leveraging the state’s 2021 gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida for environmental endeavors.

The compact permits the tribe to offer online sports betting across the state and introduces new gaming options at its casinos. In return, the Seminole Tribe has committed to paying the state $2.5 billion over the first five years of the agreement, with projections indicating the potential for billions more over the compact’s thirty-year duration.

For the fiscal year 2024-2025, the anticipated gambling revenue of $749 million is expected to fund various environmental initiatives through allocations including $100 million for land acquisition, $150 million for flood control measures, and $96 million for land management.


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