Seminole Tribe Contributes $1 Million to DeSantis’ Re-Election Committee

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has backed the re-election bid by current Governor Ron DeSantis. The Governor’s re-election committee has stated that the tribe donated $1 million to show its support. Last year, the Seminoles and DeSantis created a new gaming compact but was shut down by a federal judge. 

The $1 Million Donation Is the Second-Largest Donation in the Recent Period 

Friends of Ron DeSantis, the re-election committee of DeSantis, acknowledged that the $1 million donation from the Seminoles is the second-largest contribution since July 26. 

On this day, the Republican Governors Association donated $2 million to the committee, an organization that also received donations from the Seminole Tribe. 

In the meantime, Friends of Ron DeSantis has shown its support to the Republican Party. The committee donated over $5 million to the party in August. One donation, made on August 10, totaled $3.5 million. On August 1, the committee donated $1 million to FlexPoint Media. 

The gubernatorial election in Florida will take place on November 8 (Tuesday) and DeSantis is looking to get re-elected into office. Apart from running for Governor, he’s also been touted as a potential presidential candidate in 2024. 

Seminoles Tried Offering Online Wagering Services Back in 2021 

Florida’s recent history concerning online betting has been wavy, to say the least. The Seminole Tribe presented a gaming compact, which was opposed by many operators in the state. Even though several lawsuits were filed, the tribe was adamant about offering its services to the residents. 

In an attempt to launch online betting amidst legal challenges, the tribe launched a mobile betting app under the radar. Hard Rock Sportsbook allowed punters to wager on sports, but Seminoles were forced to cease these operations after US District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich determined that the tribe’s offerings are in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

After the online operations ceased, the Seminole Tribe tried to overrule the decision, but the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia refused its request. 

Governor DeSantis was among the politicians that supported the compact. He signed the compact in 2021 and it even received support from the Department of the Interior. 

Upon the outcome of the court decision, the Seminole Tribe released a statement in which it confirmed that it will cease its operations and that it will refund funds that are equivalent to the players’ account balances. The tribe also released an in-app statement in which it confirmed that it will continue to fight to legalize sports betting in Florida. 

Some believe that if DeSantis is re-elected, he might team up with the tribe and launch an additional effort to try and legalize sports betting in the state. However, the mission is likely to be hard as many gambling operators in the state do not agree with the tribe’s terms.

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