The Florida Senate ratified Tuesday an agreement signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe, which expands gambling and opens the door to the legalization of virtual sports betting.
“This historic legislation restores Florida’s relationship with the Seminole Tribe (…) and provides substantial new revenue for our state,” Senate President Wilton Simpson, a lead sponsor of the agreement, said today.
Simpson expressed satisfaction with the Senate’s passage of this “important” legislative measure, House Bill 2-A, ratification of the so-called 2021 Gaming Compact signed by DeSantis with the Seminoles.
The bill passed with 38 votes in favor and 1 against.
It is a 30-year compact that gives the aforementioned tribe control over sports betting and, in return, would net state coffers a minimum of $2.5 billion over the next 5 years, for a total of about $20 billion.
The new agreement authorizes craps and roulette games at the seven Seminole-owned casinos, including the popular Hard Rock near the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, plus online sports betting statewide.
In December 2006, the tribe acquired Hard Rock International, owner of the famous Hard Rock Cafe restaurant chain, with franchises around the world.
And in 2020 they expanded their stake by purchasing all rights to the Hard Rock brand in Las Vegas from investment firm Juniper Capital.