The Day – Seminoles signs 30-year gaming contract with Florida
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has entered into a multibillion-dollar deal with the State of Florida that will allow the tribe to build three new casinos in the sprawling Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino complex, with exclusive rights to roulette, craps and sports betting in the state.
The deal, ratified by the Florida legislature on May 19, also opens the door for former President Donald Trump to obtain a casino license at his Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami and billionaire Jeffrey Soffer to do. the same at his Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, without opposition from the tribe.
The agreement, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, May 25, is considered the largest and most extensive gaming contract with a tribe in the United States. The deal is expected to generate $ 2.5 billion in new revenue for the state over the next five years, and about $ 6 billion through 2030.
“This is a historic and mutually beneficial partnership between the state and the Seminole Tribe that will have a positive impact on all Floridians for decades to come,” said Seminole President Marcellus Osceola Jr., in a statement.
Osceola unveiled the deal with DeSantis earlier this month.
“This historic pact expands economic opportunities, tourism and recreation, and strengthens our state’s fiscal success in one fell swoop for the benefit of all Floridians and Seminoles,” said DeSantis, a Republican ally and Trump.
“Our agreement sets the framework for generating billions in new revenue and untold waves of positive economic impact.”
The deal has yet to be approved by the US Department of the Interior. Sports betting could not begin until October 15, 2021, under the terms of the deal, and legal challenges are expected.
The deal is seen as a major achievement for DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe as the state seeks to capitalize on the growing online gambling and sports markets in the South.
Lawmakers said DeSantis pushed for revisions to the state’s gambling laws and negotiated personally with Seminole leaders.
For years Florida has limited higher stakes betting to the Seminole and Miccosukee tribal casinos. However, gambling interests in and outside Florida have been trying to open up the state to more casinos and other gambling for years.
The Seminole Hotel in Hollywood, Florida is known as The Guitar Hotel, for its distinctive architecture.
The Seminole struck a deal with Florida in 2010 that granted the tribe exclusive rights to slot machines in the state, except in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, officials said. The tribe also obtained the exclusive rights to offer blackjack and other banked card games through the house.
However, the tribe stopped paying revenue shares to the state in 2019, after a federal judge ruled the state violated conditions by allowing games in card rooms, officials said.
In 2015, then-Gov. Rick Scott made another deal, but it didn’t get legislative approval.
Under the latest agreement, the tribe is expected to pay the state on average about $ 500 million per year. There is also a provision prohibiting the tribe from intervening if the state issues a gambling license to an establishment located more than 15 miles “in a straight line” from the tribe’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
Trump Doral’s golf resort and famed waterfront Fontainebleau hotel – where the James Bond movie “Goldfinger” was filmed – could get casino licenses.
Doral, which Trump bought in 2012 and then reportedly spent $ 250 million on renovations, is just over 15 miles from the resort town of Seminole.
Eric Trump, who recently moved to Jupiter, Florida, has been running the company since his father took office in 2017.
Supporters say the deal modernizes the Florida gambling industry by allowing sports betting across the tribe. Bets could be placed by cell phone, but the tribal leaders agreed that the workers would be based on the tribal lands.
According to some estimates, sports betting is expected to create more than 2,200 new jobs.
DeSantis’ signing of the deal on Tuesday kicks off a 45-day period during which the Home Office will consider approving the deal. If the ministry does nothing, the agreement will come into effect.
The Interior Ministry has approved similar measures. On Monday, May 24, the department approved an updated tribal gambling contract in Arizona, legalizing betting on online sporting events and fantasy sports in the state. He also opened up new options in tribal casinos.
The agreement with Arizona also allows large professional sports groups to offer bets on professional football and basketball.
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