- Predictions are the deal could boost the state budget by as much as 4.5%
- Seminole Tribe operates several casinos in the state including the seminole Immokalee casino
A deal struck between the US state of Florida as the Seminole Tribe is reportedly bringing significant economic benefits. State officials have most recently forecasted the amount of additional income Florida can be expected through taxes by way of the new deal.
It’s a numbers game
Those calculations reportedly predict that the new gambling deal will see an increase of 4.5% of growth of the State’s main annual budget for the financial year set to end in June next year with an increase of 4.1% thereafter.
The state’s new budget will be drawn up in January, and therefore the aforementioned deal has seemingly come at a good time for Florida. It came about after the Seminole Tribe reached a settlement with the state of Florida for an increased payment of $272.5m in gaming revenue for the period of 2017/18 and then $280m for 2018/19, which is an increase of $159m and $165m per year respectively.
However, the state has been warned that this cash injection is a one-time funding due uncertainty surrounding the money. Senate President Joe Negron has also expressed caution noting that, in his experience revenues do have a tendency to change and fluctuate.
The Seminole Tribe
The Seminole Tribe operates several casinos in Florida; in 1975 it established tax-free smoke shops and a bingo operations which became the first tribal gaming in the US.
The tribe have generated billions in revenue since, which has gone on to help education, welfare and economic development in the state and the agreed settlement permits them to offer various casino games. However, it promises that the state could take action against establishments that offer illegal gambling games.
All friends again after lawsuit
The Seminole Tribe filed a lawsuit against the State of Florida in 2015 after complaining that regulators allowed more than two dozen venues to offer player-banked games. They said that this conflicted with the 2010 agreement the Tribe had with the state in return for an annual fee it paid to Florida.
The state retaliated with its own lawsuit claiming the exclusivity deal ended in 2015 and the tribe, by still offering player-banked games were in violation of the agreement.
The judged backed the Seminole tribe and they ceased their annual payments until now when the settlement was reached. Here’s hoping that is the end of the matter and we can all get back to the blackjack table.
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