The state’s gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida has cleared the US Department of Justice’s 45-day approval process. The Department of the State, which supervises tribal gaming activities, was revealed Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. The agreement would allow the Seminole Tribe of Florida to add roulette and craps to its seven Florida casinos, including the renowned Hard Rock properties in Tampa and Hollywood.
Without additional legal action, the tribe can also launch sports gambling on Oct. 15 and manage sports betting at jai-alai, horse races, old dog tracks, and frontons in exchange for a cut of the profits. The tribe would also be permitted to handle online sports gambling.
According to the state, the agreement would create at least $2.5 billion in new income for the state over the following five years and an anticipated $6 billion by 2030. The state is projected to earn $20 billion over the life of the 30-year agreement.
“The ultimate ratification of this historic gaming compact is significant for the State of Florida,” said DeSantis in a statement.
This mutually beneficial deal will boost our economy, promote tourism and leisure, and generate billions of dollars in additional income for Floridians.
Marcellus Osceola Jr., head of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, stated in the same news release distributed by DeSantis’ staff that it was a great day for the people of Florida, who would benefit not only from a $2.5 billion revenue-sharing guarantee over five years, but also from statewide sports betting and new casino games, which will be available this fall and will mean more jobs for Floridians and more money invested in this state.
Opponents have claimed that the pact’s cellphone sports gambling component is unlawful, and several South Florida politicians, like Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, have expressed worry about the expansion of betting.
The agreement was struck in April, and the Florida Legislature adopted it in a special session on May 19.
On May 25, DeSantis secretly accepted Florida gambling laws, advancing them to government approval.