DeSantis, Seminoles, Reach Gaming Deal

Apr 26, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe Chairman Macellus Osceola announce gaming pact.
Credit Governor's Office

Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have finalized a 30-year gaming compact a deal that will deliver at least $2.5 billion dollars to state coffers over the next five years.

In exchange, the tribe will get control of statewide sports betting. Tribal leaders joined DeSantis in his Tallahassee office for a ceremonial bill-signing of the deal.

While talks between the state and the tribe have been ongoing for months, DeSantis over the last few weeks played a personal role in cementing what has been a perennially elusive deal for the state.

The governor noted that the agreement, which requires authorization by the Florida Legislature, will allow the state to capitalize on Internet sport betting, which is already underway and has grown in popularity.

“Sports betting really is going on already. Why don’t we come together, put some structure to this, and let it be done in a way where the tribe is in control of the sports, and the state is able to share with some generous revenue payments.”

“This is the best deal for everybody. It’s not in favor of the tribe or the state. It’s in favor of both parties,” said Marcellus Osceola Jr., the chairman of the Seminole Tribe.

State House and Senate leadership have scheduled a special session for the week of May 17th to discuss the compact. DeSantis says he wants the deal operational by the summer, ahead of football season this fall.