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Florida operators prepare for sports betting launch

28 October 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Five Florida pari-mutuels have entered into marketing agreements with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in preparation for the launch of sports betting in the state.

News of the pari-mutuel agreements is among the highlights of a Gaming Compact news update to the people of Florida from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen. The Gaming Compact was signed by Governor DeSantis and Chairman Osceola in April. It was overwhelmingly approved with bipartisan support by the Florida Legislature in May and it was deemed approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior in August, less than three months ago.

"The Gaming Compact is a mutually-beneficial partnership between the State and Seminole Tribe that positively impacts all Floridians," said Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. "In addition to our revenue sharing contributions, we are hiring hundreds of Floridians and investing millions of dollars in the state."

"As was promised when it was signed, this historic compact is expanding economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation in Florida," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "Not only will this compact bring a guaranteed $2.5 billion in revenue over the next five years, but it also brings together Florida pari-mutuel businesses from across the state in a creative partnership with the Seminole Tribe providing increased access to safe and transparent sports betting in Florida. Today's announcement is a great success for the state and the Seminole Tribe, and I look forward to the announcement of additional partnerships to come."

The new Gaming Compact guarantees a minimum of $2.5 billion in revenue sharing for Florida over the first five years. The state received its first monthly revenue sharing contribution from the Seminole Tribe in October, when a $37 million payment was transmitted.

The five pari-mutuels that have signed agreements with the Seminole Tribe are Palm Beach Kennel Club, West Palm Beach; Hialeah Park Casino, Hialeah; Ocala Gainesville Poker and Ocala Breeder's Sales Company, Ocala; Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa and TGT Poker & Racebook, Tampa. The pari-mutuels will market the sportsbook at their facilities and to their customers and in return earn 60 percent of the profits that are generated from their marketing efforts. Additional marketing agreements with Florida pari-mutuels are expected to be announced soon.

"Today's announcement follows through on the Tribe's commitment to include pari-mutuel marketing partners in Florida sports betting. They are an important component for the coming launch of sports betting throughout the state of Florida," said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe. "We have already exceeded the Compact's requirement for a minimum of three pari-mutuel agreements and we look forward to developing more relationships with pari-mutuels around Florida."

Palm Beach Kennel Club President Patrick J. Rooney said, "PBKC is excited and honored to be a marketing partner of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which is bringing sports betting to this great state."

Hard Rock Sportsbook is building on the legacy of the Hard Rock brand in Florida, where its two flagship hotel-casino complexes are located. Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., are preparing for the launch of retail sports betting, which will also be available at four more Seminole Casinos located in Immokalee, Brighton, Coconut Creek and Hollywood, Fla.

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