KEY POINTS

  • Florida lawmakers approved a bill that would block the Seminole tribe from interfering should the state issue gambling licenses
  • Donald Trump "spent approximately $250 million" renovating the Doral location
  • The bill will also allow the Seminole tribe to operate sports betting and waging

Florida lawmakers Wednesday approved a bill that if signed into law would make it possible for former President Donald Trump to open a casino in his Florida golf resort. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., approved a legislative package that includes a provision that would prevent the Seminole Tribe of Florida from interfering if the state issues a gambling license to a facility that is more than 15 miles “in a straight line” from the tribe’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

Trump’s Doral golf resort, a property he purchased in 2012, is located slightly more than 15 miles away from the tribe’s hotel. The former president spent approximately $250 million renovating the Doral location. 

Eric Trump, son of the former president and the current executive vice president of the Trump Organization, had earlier suggested that the company had plans to establish a casino at Doral. 

“Many people consider Trump Doral to be unmatched from a gaming perspective — at 700 acres, properties just don’t exist of that size and quality in South Florida, let alone in the heart of Miami,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post

Gov. DeSantis negotiated the 30-year compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida last month. Under the deal, the state of Florida will receive at least $2.5 billion over the next five years, for an estimated $20 billion over the course of 30 years.  

“It is a good deal for our state,” Republican state Rep. Randy Fine said of the compact. “Could we get a better deal? I don’t know. I’d like to think I could, sure. But I don’t have that choice. I have this deal and a closer path to a million and half dollars a day.”

Under the deal, the tribe could also operate sports betting, craps, and roulette at its casinos. If approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Seminoles could launch sports betting on Oct. 15 and operate sports waging for a share of the income. 

“Today, all the people of Florida are winners, thanks to legislative approval of the Gaming Compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. It is a historic and mutually beneficial partnership between the State and Seminole Tribe that will positively impact all Floridians for decades to come,” the Seminoles said of the deal. 

The legislation cleared the state House in a 97 to 17 vote. The state Senate also passed the measure in a 39 to 1 vote on Tuesday, according to WKMG.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has come under fire for his handling of the public health response to COVID-19 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has come under fire for his handling of the public health response to COVID-19. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JOE RAEDLE