Water Quality Comes Up Trumps in New Florida Gambling Deal

Florida will direct almost all the revenue from its gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe to fund water quality projects, to the tune of billions.

1 minute read

April 9, 2024, 7:00 AM PDT

By Mary Hammon @marykhammon

A quite pond with lilly pads floating on the surface and brush in the background.

A calm pond covered in lily pads in Everglades National Park. | Yinan Chen / Wikimedia Commons

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a deal between the state and the Seminole Tribe to expand the tribe’s gambling offerings to include online sports betting statewide and allow games such as craps and roulette at its casinos. In return, the state will receive a portion of the profits, to the tune of an estimated $750 million a year and up to $6 billion through 2030, 96 percent of which will go toward water quality projects, according to an article in Governing.

Within the next fiscal year, the measure is expected to provide $150 million to repair and upgrade the Central and South Florida Water Management System, which provides water for more than 9 million people, as well as several recurring projects, including resilient projects to help minimize the impacts of hurricanes. After specific allocations outlined in the legislation, the rest of the money will go toward the Water Protection and Sustainability Program Trust Fund, which seeks to reduce harmful nutrients from fertilizer and septic runoff into the state’s waterways.

Friday, April 5, 2024 in Governing

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