May 20, 2021 - News

Florida and Seminole Tribe ink deal to expand gambling

A photo illustration of a $100 bill with a football helmet.
Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Florida Legislature authorized mobile sports betting and ratified the broadest expansion of gambling in a decade at the close of a special session Wednesday.

Why it matters: If the feds approve, the deal would expand the Seminole Tribe's gambling footprint, bringing Vegas-style gaming with roulette and craps to its Hard Rock casinos east of Tampa and in South Florida.

  • The deal would also allow anyone in the state over age 21 to place sports bets through apps managed by the Seminoles, starting Oct. 15.

What they're saying: "You can you can be sitting in your bathtub or sitting on your couch, thinking about a football game and you can make a wager, regardless of where you physically are, on your cellphone," Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) told the Times/Herald.

The big picture: The Seminole Tribe's gambling empire is becoming one of the largest in the world.

  • The 30-year compact will bring the state a guaranteed $500 million in each of the first five years and more than $6 billion by 2030, reports Florida Politics.
  • The Tribe will be allowed to build three new casinos at its existing property near Hollywood.

The other side: Dems fought for clarity on a provision widely thought to be aimed at opening the door for former President Trump to obtain a gambling license in Miami and transfer it to his Doral resort.

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