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Senator dismisses casino licence plan for Florida resort

During an interview with CBS Miami, US Senate President Wilton Simpson has said Florida “will not contemplate moving a casino licence out to the Fontainebleau.”

Florida

Fontainebleau resort owner Jeffrey Soffer was hoping to move his casino licence to his resort in Miami Beach but, according to Simpson, he will not be able to do so for this year at least.

The legislature will meet in a special session on May 17 to approve a new gambling compact for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, though Soffer and his Fontainebleau resort will not be discussed as Simpson says he doesn’t think it will be contemplated in the session.

According to CBS Miami, a senior Republican aide has said that under the rules of the special session, any senator who proposes the transferring of a casino licence would be ruled out of order.

This news comes after resort owner Soffer had donated more than $1m to Republicans in 2020, which included nearly $400,000 to the Republican party of Florida and $350,000 to the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In addition to Soffer’s lobbying campaign to bring gambling to his hotel, he even hosted private parties and fundraisers on his yacht in a bid to persuade Republican lawmakers.

But despite his efforts, Simpson has decided not to allow him to transfer his casino licence from the Big Easy Casino in Hallandale Beach to the Fontainebleau property at Miami Beach.

Simpson hopes the public will judge lawmakers on the final product and believes the dismissal of a casino licence is the way forward.


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