The Seminole Tribe of Florida was noticeably quiet during the state’s legislative session, which ended last week. But Jim Allen, Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment’s president and CEO, dropped quite the bombshell last Thursday at a conference in Miami.
Allen suggested that any expansion of commercial casinos in Florida should involve a competitive bidding process, rather than simply adding slots at more racetracks, reported James Kilsby for Gambling Compliance, the only media covering the event.
“In my opinion and on behalf of the tribe, if the state wants to enhance revenue from gaming, then run a process … and attract great companies like Steve Wynn’s, like MGM, like Station [Casinos], Penn National Gaming, like LVS,” Allen told delegates at the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) spring conference. “If we’re going to do it, then let’s do it right.
“Obviously, our preference is for the Seminole Tribe to continue to enjoy our semi-exclusivity… and we’re happy to put billions into the state,” Allen added. “But if the state is at the point where they don’t want to do that, then we’re happy to move on.”
Just a week earlier, the state had once again failed at attempting to pass a comprehensive gambling bill. The blackjack portion of a five-year agreement between the Seminoles and the state expired in 2015.
Now state officials are waiting on the release of a state Supreme Court decision regarding a case that could permit eight Florida counties to add slots at racetracks without legislative approval.