Seminoles Release More Ads Pushing Gambling Negotiations

Mar 25, 2015

A proposed gambling bill in Tallahassee would conflict with the Seminole Gaming Compact. Part of the compact will expire in July unless state leaders negotiate a new deal.
Credit Thomas Davison/flickr

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has released another TV ad -- the third so far -- trying to convince state leaders to renew a portion of the Seminole Gaming Compact.

The portion that expires in July allows the Seminole tribe to exclusively offer games like blackjack at its casinos. In return, the tribe guarantees a billion dollars’ worth of payments to the state over five years.

A poll commissioned by the tribe finds nearly two-thirds of Floridians want the compact renewed. They say that extending the compact will save more than 3,000 jobs and create more than 15,000 jobs.

But so far, the Florida Legislature has no plans for negotiations and hasn’t included revenue from the Seminoles in the next state budget.

Lawmakers are actually considering a bill that would allow Vegas-style casinos in South Florida and more slot machines. Supporters say it would put the state back in control of gaming and could bring in more revenue than the Seminole deal.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and other business groups say the compact prevents the expansion of gambling and helps keep the state’s family-friendly image intact.

The tribe says it won’t pursue plans to expand its hotels in Tampa and Hollywood -- until the compact is renewed.