Florida gaming made billions for Seminoles

Florida gaming made billions for SeminolesThe Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Hard Rock casino resort near Tampa, Fla., has long been seen as perhaps the most profitable single casino in the U.S. gaming industry.

That’s the view of several industry insiders who may or may not have seen official numbers, but the validity of such speculation seems to have been established by the release of details from the recent deposition of Jim Allen, chief executive officer for Seminole Gaming. 

Allen said the tribe made $2.4 billion last year and  $2.2 billion of that came from the gambling business. The tribe has seven casinos but the Hard Rock near the intersection of two major highways just east of Tampa has the best location.

Seminole Gaming had tried to keep financial information under wraps as the consolidated suits the state and tribe have filed against each other go to trial later this year. Seminole Gaming dropped its effort to keep its financial records a secret after online news site Politico published details from Allen’s deposition.

The upcoming trial stems from Seminole Gaming’s efforts to continue offering blackjack, claiming that the state had breached the five-year agreement that allowed the game by offering an electronic version of the game at a South Florida racino.

The release of information about the performance of the Florida casinos can also be expected to influence public reaction to an extended compact with the state, an extension that still requires approval by the Florida Legislature.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: 

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