Feds Give Approval to Florida’s Seminole Compact

Florida Flag With a Casino Background

Federal officials approved on Friday the compact between Florida and the Seminole Tribe that authorizes the Tribe to operate sports betting while also adding roulette and craps to its seven casinos.

The state, through Gov. Ron DeSantis, worked out the compact last Spring and it was later approved by the Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives and Senate. But before it could be put to effect, it had to be sounded off by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees tribal gaming operations.

Said Gov. DeSantis in a statement:

“The final approval of this historic gaming compact is a big deal for the State of Florida. This mutually-beneficial agreement will grow our economy, expand tourism and recreation and provide billions in new revenue to benefit Floridians.”

Most Expansive Gaming Compact in U.S. History

Perhaps the most expansive gaming compact in the history of the United States, the deal increases the projected revenue of the state from from the Seminole Tribe to over $6B over the next decade, with a guaranteed minimum of $2.5 billion dollars during the first five years. The agreement is also expected to create over 2,000 jobs for Floridians.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that barred states from authorizing sports betting. Florida’s original compact with the Seminole Tribe gave them exclusive rights to slot machines and blackjack. In exchange, the tribes paid the state billions of dollars. Payments stopped in 2019.

Sports Betting Could Stat on October 15th

The Seminole compact modernizes the state’s gaming industry by authorizing legal sports betting in Florida through the tribe. It also provides protection for pari-mutuel operations and the opportunity to participate in sports betting offered by the tribe. These pari-mutuels would get to keep 60% of sports betting revenues while the other 40% will go to the tribe. The Seminoles would then pay the state up to 14% of the net winnings.

The Seminoles could start sports betting by October 15th and sports betting at horse tracks, jai alai frontons, and former dog tracks for a share of the income. Online sports betting operated by the tribe will also be permitted.