The Real Deal Miami

Seminole’s $1.8B expansion plan in jeopardy after Senate kerfuffle

Bill could be revived if Senate schedules another meeting

March 02, 2016 05:15PM

  • Print
The proposed guitar-shaped hotel that would be built in the Seminole Tribe's Hollywood entertainment complex

The proposed guitar-shaped hotel that would be built in the Seminole Tribe’s Hollywood entertainment complex

The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s plan to spend $1.8 billion on expanding their gaming facilities — including the construction of a massive guitar-shaped hotel in Hollywood — is on life support after the gaming compact it hinges on was reportedly crushed in the state legislature.

The gaming compact, which had previously been signed by Governor Rick Scott in December, would allow craps and roulette tables at the tribe’s facilities. In exchange for its passage, the Seminole Tribe was to pay Florida $3 billion over seven years, as well as expand its facilities in Tampa and Hollywood with $1.8 billion worth of new development and allow outside operators to run their own slot machines in South Florida.

However, the compact reportedly collapsed in the Florida Senate this week amidst finger-pointing between state officials and gaming advocates.

Tom Lee, chair of the senate’s appropriations committee, told reporters that his committee had removed the compact from its agenda. Too many factions are pulling the bill in different directions, he said, and as such it wasn’t the right time to pass legislation, according to a report in the Tampa Tribune.

If the Senate schedules another meeting for Thursday, the bill could be revived. However, Lee said he wasn’t sure if there were enough agenda items left to necessitate another meeting, according to the Tribune.

One of the most standout features of the tribe’s plan was its massive guitar-shaped hotel that would accompany its gaming facilities in Hollywood. The 36-story glass tower would have brought 800 hotel rooms to the area. [Tampa Tribune]Sean Stewart-Muniz