An agreement reached Friday between Florida and the Seminole Tribe is expected to provide the state with at least $2.5 billion in new revenue over the next five years.
The compact authorizes the Tribe to allow sports betting for the first time and allow casinos to operate on Tribal lands.
“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 Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Our agreement establishes the framework to generate billions in new revenue and untold waves of positive economic impact.”
Over the next 10 years, the pact is forecast to generate of $6 billion of added revenue. The state said, by some estimates, sports betting may create over 2,200 jobs for state residents.
“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 compact would allow gaming activities, including slot machines, raffles and drawings, table games, fantasy sports contests, sports betting and any new game authorized by the state.
“The historic new 30-year gaming compact Gov. 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.
“The news of a new agreement with the Seminole Tribe is very welcome,” said Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer. “We hope the expected influx of $2.5 billion over the next five years as a result of the compact will go a long way in advancing the priorities of the people of Florida, especially with respect to healthcare.”
He added that along with the additional monies provided by the American Rescue Plan, this leaves the state Legislature “with no excuse to not finally provide quality and affordable healthcare to the over 1.5 million Floridians wo would not be eligible for benefits under Medicaid expansion. I fully expect Medicaid expansion to be included as part of the call for a special session next month.”