International edition
September 27, 2020

The first full year Seminole operated under a deal with the state

Florida tribal casinos generated US$ 2 billion in 2009 revenue

(US).- Indian casinos in Florida raked in about US$ 2 billion in 2009, the first full year the Seminole Tribe operated Las Vegas-style slot machines and dealt blackjack under a deal with the state. They own seven casinos in Florida, including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood.

T

he Miccosukee Tribe has a Miami casino but offers only bingo-based slots and poker. Florida was the fourth-richest state for tribal gambling, behind only California (US$ 7.7 billion), Oklahoma (US$ 3.1 billion) and Connecticut (US$ 2.2 billion), according to the 2011 Indian Gaming Industry Report.

Statewide, Indian gaming revenue increased US$ 193 million, or 10.4 %, in 2009 from a year earlier. That was a strong performance in a year when the sour economy forced gamblers to rein in spending, wrote economist Alan Meister, the report's author.

A 2007 agreement signed by Gov. Charlie Crist allowed the Seminole Tribe to replace bingo-based slots with Las Vegas-style machines and deal blackjack in return for giving the state a share of the take. The Florida Supreme Court invalidated the deal. But the tribe moved ahead, insisting the federal government blessed the agreement.

The Hard Rock in Tampa is planning a new hotel tower, meeting and convention space and a music venue, Meister wrote. Tribe representatives talked about expansion plans, even displaying a drawing of a guitar-shaped hotel, while lobbying for the latest compact.

But the tribe's governing council has not approved moving ahead with construction yet.

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