Florida lawmakers reconvene for special session on gambling – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) – Florida lawmakers are holding a special session on Monday to discuss a new 30-year gambling contract between the state and the Seminole tribe to expand gambling and legalize sports betting in the country’s third largest state .

The fate of the new pact is uncertain, however, as some corporate groups and legislative conservatives oppose the morality of expanding gambling and concerns about rising crime.

The deal would earn the state at least $ 2.5 billion in the first five years and at least $ 6 billion in the tribe by 2030. State officials say the pact would create 2,200 new jobs.

If lawmakers ratify the deal reached last month by Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis, the Seminoles will be allowed to host sports games at their casinos in South Florida and near Tampa. The tribe is also allowed to introduce craps and roulette into its seven casinos, including the popular Hard Rock near Fort Lauderdale. And it would allow the tribe to add three additional facilities within its Hollywood reservation.

The game industry has been a boon to the Seminoles. It has used its profits to pay its 4,100 members more than $ 100,000 annually and owns the Hard Rock brand worldwide.

Legislators have a week to think about the pact but hope to complete their work as early as Wednesday. It also needs to be approved by the Seminole Tribal Council and the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversee the tribes’ gambling operations.

Appealing to their tribal sovereignty, the Seminoles began their gambling activities in 1979 with a high-stakes bingo parlor and have since expanded to include slot machines, poker, blackjack, and other card games.

Miami billionaire Norman Braman has vowed to challenge the pact in court if passed by lawmakers, arguing that elements of the pact would violate a 2018 initiative that restricts the expansion of casino-style gambling .

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