State Watch

Florida GOP passes bill that would clear way for Trump casino license

Florida lawmakers approved a bill on Wednesday that if signed into law would clear a way for former President Trump to pursue a casino license for his Doral golf resort.

According to The Washington Post, the bill includes a 30-year compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state of Florida. If the legislation is signed, that compact will prohibit the tribe from interfering if the state gives 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 resort, according to the Post, is located just more than 15 miles from the tribe’s establishment. Trump reportedly spent approximately $250 million renovating the location, which he purchased in 2012.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a staunch Trump ally, reportedly negotiated the terms of the compact.

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

Eric Trump, the son of the former president and the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, previously suggested that there was interest in establishing 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,” Eric Trump said, according to the Post.

State lawmakers who opposed to the bill, however, are now questioning why the radius around the tribe’s hotel and casino is specifically set at 15 miles in the compact.

Some have said the agreement is too deferential to Trump Doral and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, another location that is reportedly looking into building a casino, according to the Post.

The Post noted that while it is not clear if the former president played a role in shaping the legislation, he did endorse the author of the bill, Florida state Senate President Wilton Simpson (R), for Florida agriculture commissioner last week. Simpson, however, has not yet announced that he is running for the position.

The Hill reached out to the former president and the Trump Organization for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Eric Trump Ron DeSantis

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