The Florida Seminole Tribe dropped a new ad over the weekend, signaling their support for a new gaming compact that was reached last month with the state.
The 60-second spot, titled “The Seminole Story,” touts last month’s monumental gaming deal with the state, highlighting the benefits of the agreement — including $6 billion in new revenues for Florida through 2030.
“Amid a storm of challenge and loss, this Florida story gave rise to hope — and our spirit to preserve,” the minute-long ad starts.
Governor Ron DeSantis struck the historic compact last month with the Seminoles, just one week before the 2021 Legislative Session was set to end. The deal is expected to give the Tribe exclusive rights over sports betting in the state, allowing the Tribe to open statewide mobile sports wagering and 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 and oversee 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.
“The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock. One — a global icon for hospitality and entertainment. The other — ‘unconquered’ resilience — surviving extinction and poverty, only to create tens of thousands of jobs, billions in economic impact and billions more for vital government services,” the ad continues. “But quietly, without fanfare, the Seminoles and Hard Rock came through big for others: fighting hunger and disease, natural disasters, all to help and serve others. Today the Seminoles, Hard Rock and the people of Florida are prepared to do something even bigger, for the future they share and the state they love.”
While the new deal could become one of the Governor’s signature achievements, experts say it will face intense legal scrutiny before reaching its final destination. The compact he negotiated will likely need to clear three big hurdles: the state legislature; a likely pit stop at the Florida Supreme Court; and then, depending on the outcome there, a final stop with Florida voters who will decide the deal’s final fate.
The first test in determining the future of gaming in the Sunshine State will be with the legislature who will reconvene for a special session during the week of May 17 to finalize the deal.
The ad concludes with words from DeSantis during April’s signing, who noted the importance of the deal.
“This relationship from the Tribe is really going to be beneficial for the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.