Las Vegas Sands Corporation reportedly eyeing Florida’s Jacksonville City to develop & operate casino
Nevada based casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation has reportedly pumped nearly $17 million into a political action committee (PAC) called “Florida Voters in Charge” that is focusing on bringing a large gambling-friendly development to Jacksonville in Florida.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. has confirmed the large contribution made by it to the local PAC, but it refused to offer any further details. The company only said that it was mulling various options. Las Vegas Sands stressed that it has no intention to ask Florida to breach its recently-agreed gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In the new agreement signed between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe, the federally-recognized tribe earned a statewide monopoly on craps, roulette as well as retail sportsbetting from as soon as October. The tribe also got the permission to build and operate three new gaming properties in the state.
However, the fresh agreement between the state and Seminole Tribe is yet to be approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). The deal has already been challenged in a federal court. Moreover, it could be in jeopardy due to an effort being backed by DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel, which is seeking voter approval to bring commercial online sportsbetting to the state.
In recently filed documents, the Florida Voters in Charge PAC indicated that it wanted to introduce two gaming-related initiatives, with Jacksonville being a potential destination for a new integrated resort (IR). One of the two proposals would allow for a conventional casino, as long as it is at least 130 miles away from tribal lands. In addition, it requires the developer to invest at least $250 million.
The PAC’s second gaming-related initiative aims to open to out-of-state developers and operators through a competitive bidding process. This initiative calls for three new gaming facilities with provisions of a minimum distance of at least 100 miles from tribal lands and $500 million investment.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. could lead the potential race as investing the aforementioned amounts of money is not a big challenge for cash-rich gaming giant.
Jacksonville offers several advantages. It is the only city that meets the geographic parameters laid out in the PAC’s proposals. Additionally, it is the most populous city in the state. Moreover, it offers a built-in audience, thanks to a heavy military presence in the area.
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