Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida celebrated the approval of the historic Seminole Gaming Compact Friday after a 45-day review of the agreement was completed by the U.S. Department of Interior.
The compact, the state’s largest gambling agreement in history, was ratified in May, and will look to generate a “minimum of $2.5 billion in new revenue to the state over the next five years and an estimated $6 billion through 2030,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Currently, the Seminole Tribe does not make any revenue payments to the state of Florida.
“The final approval of this historic gaming compact is a big deal for the State of Florida,” said Governor DeSantis in the release. “This mutually-beneficial agreement will grow our economy, expand tourism and recreation and provide billions in new revenue to benefit Floridians. I again want to thank Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their part in getting this done for our great state.”
The press release also highlights the compacts for “modernizing” the gaming industry in Florida through authorizing sports betting in the state through Tribal land. It also states, “The agreement also provides protections for pari-mutuel operations and the opportunity to participate in sports betting offered by the Tribe. By some estimates, sports betting is expected to create over 2,200 jobs for Floridians.”
Osceola Jr. stated in the release, “Today is a great day for the people of Florida, who will benefit not only from a $2.5 billion revenue sharing guarantee over five years, but also from statewide sports betting and new casino games that will roll out this fall and mean more jobs for Floridians and more money invested in this state. We thank Governor DeSantis, President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls and the Florida Legislature for their leadership and hard work.”
Even with approval, the Seminole Gaming Compact has been, and will most likely continue to, face legal challengers who believe the compact is unconstitutional due to the legality of sports betting in Florida’s non-tribal lands, as well as the decision to expand games without voters’ approval.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]