A new poll commissioned by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), in cooperation with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, shows that likely Florida voters overwhelmingly support the new Gaming Compact by more than three to one, with 62 percent in favor and only 17 percent opposed, as it nears approval by the Florida Legislature in a Special Session beginning Monday, May 17.
Recently signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., the new Gaming Compact, according to FRLA, is guaranteed to bring $2.5 billion in revenue sharing dollars to the State of Florida in its first five years and billions more in future years.
“The Compact will not just benefit the Seminole Tribe and Florida’s state revenue, it will bring a much-needed boost in Florida tourism – Florida’s economic engine – which recorded its lowest year in more than a decade in 2020, and it will also bring thousands of jobs for Florida’s hospitality industry,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of FRLA. “We believe that the new casino games will not conflict with Florida’s family-friendly image, which is especially important in Central Florida, as the new casino table games are limited to Seminole Reservations where casino gaming already takes place. Florida’s tourism and hospitality industry is working to rebuild after a devastating year, and we strongly support this Gaming Compact and our friends in the Seminole Tribe who have continued to demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of our great state.”
Since the beginning of COVID, more than 934,000 of Florida’s 1.5 million hospitality workers were furloughed or laid off. More than 10,000 restaurants closed, and hotels have shuttered. Many hotels still remain on the brink of closure as business travel remains down more than 85 percent. The new Compact will bring jobs and provide significant economic impact to help benefit the hospitality and tourism industry as we try to rebuild and recover from 2020.
Other key findings in the poll:
- 73 percent of respondents said they were more likely to support the Compact when they learned that profits generated by the Seminole Tribe are invested back into the state by creating thousands of jobs and billions more in economic impact;
- Voters also indicated by more than a two to one margin that they were now more likely to re-elect their state legislator if he or she votes to approve the compact, with 46 percent saying it would be more likely, 20 percent less likely, and 33 percent unsure;
- Floridians are pleased with the direction of the state with 58 percent saying it is headed in the right direction; and
- 60 percent of the voters approve of the job Governor DeSantis is doing – his highest job approval since June 2020.
For more information about the poll and its findings, click here.