TALLAHASSEE – Gambling may increase in Florida under an agreement signed Friday between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe.
Under the agreement, the tribe will be allowed to offer sports gambling at its casino and will be allowed to license horse tracks, jai-alai frontons and former dog tracks to accept sports wagers on its behalf for a share of the income.
The tribe will also be allowed to introduce craps and roulette at its casinos.
The 30-year contract, known as a compact, between the state and tribe must still be considered by the Legislature at a special session that will begin May 17.
On April 23, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a historic gaming compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 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, according to DeSantis’s office.
“This historic compact expands economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation, and bolsters the fiscal success of our state in one fell swoop for the benefit of all Floridians and Seminoles alike,” said Governor DeSantis. “Our agreement establishes the framework to generate billions in new revenue and untold waves of positive economic impact. I would like to thank Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr., Senate President Wilton Simpson, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their collective commitment to modernizing the gaming industry in the state of Florida and setting the bar for the rest of the nation.”
“The Seminole Tribe of Florida is committed to a mutually-beneficial gaming compact with the State of Florida and looks forward to its approval by the Florida Legislature, the Seminole Tribal Council and the U.S. Department of the Interior,” said Marcellus Osceola Jr., Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. “The Tribe wants to express our sincere thanks to Governor DeSantis, Senate President Simpson, House Speaker Sprowls and many others who have worked hard to negotiate a historic agreement that cements our partnership with the state for decades to come.”
“The historic new thirty year gaming compact Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida executed today restores the State’s relationship with the Tribe, preserves and offers new opportunities for Florida’s legacy pari-mutuel industry, and provides substantial new revenues for the State of Florida,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “I’m grateful to Governor DeSantis for his leadership in finalizing this compact and look forward to our upcoming special session to address legislation related to the implementation of this monumental agreement and to ratify the compact.”
“For years, there has been much ambiguity around the compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “Today, we thank Governor Ron DeSantis for bringing that to a conclusion and for giving us the opportunity to address this key issue for our state. Thank you also for the work of Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. and the contributions of Senate President Simpson. We look forward to reviewing the compact in an upcoming Special Session.”
Larger and more expansive than any other gaming compact in U.S. history, the agreement increases the projected revenue to the State of Florida from the Seminole Tribe from no revenue to over $6 billion over the next decade, with a guaranteed minimum of two and a half billion dollars during the first five years.
Most notably, the compact modernizes the gaming industry through the authorization of sports betting in Florida through the Tribe. 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.