State Watch

Eric Trump floats turning family’s Florida golf resort into casino: report

Eric Trump, son of former President Trump and head of the Trump Organization, floated the idea of turning one of his family’s Florida golf courses into a casino, according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.

“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,” Eric Trump said in an email to the Post.

The Post reports that Florida Republicans are preparing to submit a bill that would allow developers to transfer gambling licenses to areas that have normally prohibited gambling and would also block local governments from intervening. The state currently limits gambling to mostly tribal areas and horse racing properties.

Eric Trump declined to say to the Post whether his company was supporting the bill.

The Post notes that before running for president, Donald Trump spent several years lobbying for Florida lawmakers to approve new casino licenses.

“I think gambling is a good thing for Miami,” the former president once said to the Miami Herald.

Donald Trump famously opened a casino in Atlantic City that ended in bankruptcy in the ’90s. The building once known as the Trump Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City was demolished in February.

Sources close to the matter told the outlet that Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R) was planning to introduce the bill sometime this week or early next.

“Gaming negotiations are extremely complicated, and while Simpson believes the efforts are worthy, it is also important to be realistic about where we are,” Simpson spokesperson Katie Betta told The Post.

She added that the Florida state senator “has been involved in these negotiations for years, and if they get to a place where he believes an agreement would benefit the State of Florida and have the support of his colleagues in the Legislature as well as the Governor, he would be happy to discuss further details.”

Simpson has not discussed the bill with Trump, according to Betta.

Armando Codina, a GOP real estate developer who has built properties in the Doral area, told The Post he was planning to oppose the bill because discussions “have happened in a dark room.” Codina said the legislation, if passed, would make Trump’s Doral resort worth hundred of millions of dollars more.

“I think this would be bad for Florida and I think it would be terrible for Miami-Dade County,” Codina told The Post. “We’ve created a venue that is a family venue. If this was to happen in Doral, we would over time probably sell a bunch of our interests.”

Florida Rep. Joseph Geller (D) spoke out against bill, taking aim at Trump in particular.

“This guy has bankrupted every casino he’s ever run. How do you bankrupt a casino?” he said to The Post. “I don’t think we need a failed casino. We don’t want to be the next Atlantic City.”

Tags Business career of Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Eric Trump Eric Trump Florida Gambling The Trump Organization Trump National Doral Miami

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