New TV ad aims to extend Seminole Gaming Compact

seminole compact ad

Two major pro-business groups, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association are calling for renewal of the gambling agreement between state lawmakers and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

In a television ad released Monday, Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the  Chamber and Carol Dover, president and CEO of the restaurant group, urge the state to extend the Seminole Gaming Compact. An essential portion of the compact, which allows blackjack and other games at the seven Seminole Hard Rock Casinos, expires in July.

Under the current agreement, the Tribe pays the state at least $1 billion over five years. “The Seminole Compact: Partnership” is a 30-second spot calling the compact a “partnership made in Florida that works for Florida.’’ The ad tries to strike a balance between extending the compact and expanding gambling in Florida.

Both the Chamber and restaurant group have been vocal opponents of gambling expansion, including several attempts to allow the construction of destination resort casinos. Last week, Tampa Republican Dana Young, the House Majority Leader, filed a bill that could permit two destination casinos in South Florida and slot machines at two more greyhound tracks.

“Florida is changing, which is why we need to extend the compact and limit gambling,” Wilson said in a prepared statement. “Changing it could lead to the expansion of gambling, which simply is unacceptable for a state that has worked hard to grow its economy and develop a family-friendly image.”

“Partnership” is the second in a statewide campaign to raise public awareness of the 20-year compact, The first ad, which began airing in Tallahassee early this month, says the “historic compact’’ provides “controlled, profitable and safe” gambling in Florida.

If the deal is not renewed, the state stands to lose as much as $260 million a year from the Seminole Tribe.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected]



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