The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Governor Rick Scott met on Monday in order to push state lawmakers to give the green light to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino proposed expansion plan worth $1.8 billion.
The expansion plan was first announced last spring and a seven-year compact was signed in December, 2015, by the Governor and the Tribe’s Chairman James Billie. However, the project is facing certain opposition in the state Legislature whose support is crucial for its completion.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood complex is going to be upgraded with a guitar shaped 800-room hotel as well as a new Hard Rock Cafe, five restaurants, dessert shop, buffet, nightclub and a Swamp bar.
James Allen, Seminole Gaming CEO, revealed that the expansion would create 14,585 construction jobs and 4,867 full-time positions. He further explained that the proposed complex would be an “international tourist destination” as well as an “integrated resort that’s not just about gaming.” Aside from the already mentioned amenities, Allen announced a Bora Bora-style cabanas and extended-stay villas too. During the meeting, the CEO reassured everyone that the Seminoles have always done what they said they would do. Additionally, he expressed optimism about the project thanks to the governor’s support.
Scott, on the other hand, pointed out that the compact might be the biggest one signed in the country. He concluded his speech saying that the compact was fair to both Florida and the Seminoles. During the meeting he also talked to Hard Rock employees who listed the positive impacts of the previous compact signed six years ago.
Aside from $3 billion revenue over the next seven years for Florida, the deal would give the tribe a statewide monopoly on some casino games. Therefore, those opposing it call it an economic reward for the tribe and a tool for limiting Seminole’s competition.