Florida’s Seminole Tribe To Resume Casino, Sports Betting Pay To State

Written By J.R. Duren on December 11, 2023
Guitars On Display At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino in Hollywood, Florida

It seems all is finally well in the world of casinos and sports betting in Florida.

More than two years after signing a compact (agreement) with the state of Florida that included expanded gaming, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has agreed to resume payments to the state after the tribe began its rollout of craps, roulette, and sports betting at several casinos, according to a report by News Service of Florida on Tampa Free Press.

The payments are part of a revenue-sharing agreement in the compact, which requires the tribe to pay the state $2.5 billion for the first year of the 30-year agreement, along with percentages of slots, table-game, and sports betting wins.

How the Seminole payments affect Florida state

Payments from the Seminole tribe to the state have been a way for the state to benefit from casino gaming. Even though it doesn’t have the authority to require tax payments like states that tax commercial (non-tribal) casinos.

The payment structure is similar to income tax because it is based on brackets:

Slots

  • 12% of net win (total bet minus payouts and other deductions) on the first $2 billion of slots, raffles, and drawings
  • 17.5% on net win of from $2 billion to $2.5 billion
  • 20% on net win from $2.5 billion to $3 billion
  • 22.5% from $3 billion to $3.5 billion
  • 25% on net win above $3 billion

Table games

  • 15% of net win (total bet minus payouts and other deductions) on the first $1 billion of slots, raffles, and drawings
  • 17.5% of net win from $1 billion to $1.5 billion
  • 22.5% of net win from $1.5 billion to $2 billion
  • 25% of net win above $3 billion

Sports betting

  • 13.75% on net win from sports betting that didn’t take place through a parimutuel. The tribe can offer sports betting at the state’s 32 parimutuel facilities via a specific type of partnership.
  • 10% of net win from sports betting that take place through a pari-mutuel

Up until this month, the Seminole tribe hadn’t made payments according to the rules of the new and old compact dating back to 2019.

The beef? The tribe didn’t like how parimutuel facilities offered ‘designated player” card games, including certain types of poker games and pai gow. The tribe felt like those games should be exclusive to the tribe’s properties; it didn’t like the competition.

However, now that the Seminole tribe launched expanded gaming at a couple of its properties (with plans to expand at more casinos), that fear of competition has subsided enough. And now the rewards of offering sports betting are sweet enough to soothe the bitterness that led to the payment strike.

“The compact is now back in full force, and the tribe is abiding with the full terms of the compact,” Hard Rock International CEO Jim Allen told the Tampa Free Press. “It’s certainly our intention to comply with the compact in our relationship with the state.”

Photo by Brynn Anderson / AP Photo
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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