The worst kept secret in Tallahassee this legislative cycle was that Gov. Ron DeSantis was negotiated a gambling deal with stakeholders behind closed doors in hopes to strike a deal between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The rumors of secret meetings were confirmed and now with the signing of the deal that would generate no less than $2.5 billion in revenue the next five years and another $3.5 billion through 2030, Gov. DeSantis and legislators can now do a victory rain dance around the deal.
“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.”
Aside from creating about 2,200 jobs, the DeSantis gambling deal will help Florida keep its lights on for the next 10 years or so.