Interview: Seminole Tribe executive discusses gaming compact

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa, Florida
A view of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Photo from Facebook

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviews James Allen, the chief executive officer of Seminole Gaming, about a Class III gaming compact for the Seminole Tribe:
Q: Why should Florida renew its gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe?

A: The reality is there is a relationship, and it's truly a partnership, between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe. We believe, which I think we can demonstrate, that the partnership has been amazingly successful for both the state and the Tribe. …

We have done quarterly meetings with [state regulators] and frankly, we've never had a material issue. … They've actually complimented us countless times on the integrity, the honesty and the sophistication of our operations. … We believe that relationship between the state and the Tribe has been very favorable.

The Tribe has not only met, but exceeded all the revenue projections that we gave to the state. If we were to stay on the current agreement for another 15 years, we would pay the state of Florida based upon our projections … $6.1 billion. …

[Currently] we do not market anywhere out of the state of Florida. We barely market outside Broward County. If we had certainty in this particular partnership with the state of Florida, we would immediately start marketing into Atlanta, into New York City, into Philadelphia … We would market all the way up to Chicago. And we would obviously be then moving more business and more tourism into the state of Florida ...

If we complete these [renewal] negotiations, we're prepared immediately to announce … major hotel expansions [worth $1.6 billion total], both in Tampa and in Hollywood.

Get the Story:
Tribe: Compact benefits Florida: Front & Center (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3/17)

Also Today:
Public supports keeping gambling pact, Seminole Tribe says (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3/17)
Florida Residents Support Seminole Tribe Compact Renewal (Casino News Daily 3/17)
Seminoles finance poll that finds majority of voters want to renew the gaming compact (The Miami Herald 3/16)

Related Stories
Editorial: Don't believe hype on bill to expand gaming in Florida (03/09)
Opinion: Florida gaming expansion bill leads to less gaming (03/04)
Seminole Tribe touts compact as lawmakers take up expansion (3/3)
Top lawmaker not waiting on Seminole Tribe casino compact (02/17)

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