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Poll Shows Voters Support Seminole Compact But Don't Want Expansion

Seminole Hard Rock Casino

Floridians are in support of the state’s gambling agreement with the Seminole Indian tribe. That’s according to a poll released Thursday by the Florida chamber of Commerce. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the tribe have reached an agreement that would let the Seminole tribe expand gaming in their casinos to include Craps and Roulette. In exchange, the tribe will pay the state $3-billion over the next seven years. Scott says it’s a good thing for Florida. 

“Under this compact there is an obligation that the Seminole will have to add more jobs—over 4,000 more jobs—direct and indirect—and during construction it would be over 14,000 jobs,” Scott says.

And while pollsters say the general public isn’t too familiar with the new agreement, Florida Chamber of Commerce Spokeswoman Edie Ousley says voters tend to agree with the governor when they hear the details. 

"They’ve had a favorable perception of the tribal compact that we’ve had existing in Florida and they, by 3-to-1 had a favorable view of the proposed new compact,” Ousley says.

But at the same time, most people don’t want to see gaming expand. In the chamber’s poll, just 27-percent of respondents said they want “gaming opportunities” in the state to expand beyond the current level. Most said they’d like to those opportunities stay about the same.  The chamber believes the compact is the best way to limit the expansion of gambling and will protect the state’s tourism industry. Lawmakers are expected to take up the compact in the upcoming legislative session.