Florida Chamber study reveals strong support of Seminole Compact

Floridians overwhelmingly approve Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed Seminole Compact — designed to net the state $3 billion, create 15,000 new jobs, and also maintain existing employment—according to a recent poll authorized by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“Floridians are nearly unanimous in agreeing that our state is a family-friendly tourist destination, and support a continued partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber president, said. “The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Compact presents Florida with the most reasonable path toward controlled gaming operations that also provide significant economic stability to Florida.”

The 20-year arrangement outlined by Gov. Scott in December 2015 is structured to bring in $3 billion in revenue over a period of seven years. Besides creating new jobs, the Compact will also save 3,500 existing positions in the gaming industry. The chamber noted that as voters are informed more specifically, support is expected to grow.

“Our polling continues to find that Floridians are satisfied with the agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and believe the Compact will continue to benefit the State of Florida,” Neil Newhouse, who conducted the poll on behalf of the Florida Chamber, said. “Once voters hear about this new Compact, it wins broad support across party lines and media markets across the state.”

The survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a nationwide firm, revealed that Sunshine State citizens favor the Compact by an approximately three to one margin. About one-third (30 percent) feel the arrangement between the state and the tribe has had positive results, and even more (38 percent) believe the tribe has honored the existing financial agreement to net $1 billion for Florida in five years.

Almost all surveyed (95 percent) consider the state’s entertainment venues to be family-friendly; slightly more than half (53 percent) favor keeping gambling operations at their current scale, while just over a fourth (27 percent) would like to see gaming increase and a fifth (19 percent) favoring decreased availability.

The Compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is pending approval by the Florida Legislature.

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