COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — The Seminole Tribe hosted a series of celebrations at their casinos in Broward County on Thursday as craps, roulette and sports betting officially became an option for casino guests.
“Is everybody excited here today?” Jim Allen, the Gaming CEO for the Seminole Tribe, asked a crowd at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek at a Thursday ceremony.
During the event, the first game of craps and roulette got underway.
The tribe’s online sports betting app is also now live for Floridians over the age of 21.
“Tremendous day here at Coconut Creek casino and all the Seminole Hard Rock facilities of Florida as we launch craps, roulette and sports betting, not just in person but mobile, throughout the state of Florida,” Allen told WPTV.
The Seminole Tribe signed a new compact with the state of Florida in 2021, which green-lighted the expansion.
That quickly gained opposition, with two Florida casino owners filing a legal challenge. They asked the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court to rule on whether this agreement violated federal law by, “expanding gaming outside of Indian lands.”
“Unfortunately, there was a challenge legally, which we abided by, and now in the last 30 days, both the United States Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court ruled in our favor to allow us to proceed and move forward,” Allen said.
With this expansion, comes some worry for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.
“Any time there’s an expansion, there is an increased probability that more people will engage in that type of an activity and potentially develop a problem,” Jennifer Kruse, executive director of the council, said.
Kruse wants to remind Florida residents that they can call or text 888-ADMIT-IT for help.
“The majority of the population that gambles, they do so responsibly,” Kruse said. “But for the 1-3% that it becomes a problem for, it can cause a lot of issues in multiple areas of their lives.”
For the Seminole Tribe, they’re hoping this expansion continues to promote economic growth in the state of Florida.
“The compact, once again, is reinstated in excess of $650 million going to the state of Florida, for all of the citizens, and obviously creating thousands of jobs again,” Allen said. “So, it’s something we’re very proud of.”