Seminole Tribe Celebrate Landmark Win With A New Casino

If you’re the Seminole Tribe of Florida, you almost HAVE to feel on top of the world, don’t you? In the span of one week, they won a court case that guarantees them a Florida sports betting license for three decades AND celebrated the halfway point on the construction of a brand-new casino.

In this article, we’ll quickly recap you on the two big news items in case you missed it and tell you how pretty the Seminole Tribe is sitting for the foreseeable future.

Brighton Bay Casino Is Halfway Done

Florida only allows betting to come from its Native American tribes. While there are multiple tribes, only the Seminole and Miccosukee acted on their exclusive licenses. But here’s the thing, Miccosukee only has one real casino — the Miccosukee Casino & Resort in Miami. It’s the Seminole Tribe that’s gone all-in on betting.

The Seminoles are now up to six casinos. They are as follows:

  • Seminole Casino Brighton
  • Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
  • Seminole Casino Immokalee
  • Seminole Classic Casino
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

We want to focus on Brighton in this article because that casino isn’t 100 percent complete — not the new one, at least. In fact, it’s only 50 percent done. In June 30, the tribe celebrated that recent milestone with a Topping Off Ceremony at the venue located in Okeechobee area. Per usual in these types of ceremonies, the final steel beam was hoisted above — with the flags of the United States, Seminole Tribe of Florida and Florida State flags waving in the wind.

“The Little Red Barn, like that little engine that could, is the highest gross property that we have in the Seminole Tribe in the portfolio,” Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr. said. “It outdoes everything and to Marty (Johns) and your family, keep your legacy going. Hats off to you guys.”

For context, “The Little Red Barn” was the nickname of the original Brighton casino, one that opened in 1980. It’s still running — about three miles away — until the new one is completed. Construction broke ground in January 2023, and the expectation is to have everything completed by early 2025. It’s said the construction includes 190 workers and six-days-a-week shifts, which explains the steady progress so far.

Big Plans Ahead For New Brighton Casino

This under-construction casino might be one of the most ambitious of the Seminole Casino. Here’s a first, it will feature a 10-lane bowling alley, Brighton Bay Bowling. No other Seminole property can lay claim to that.

Of course, it’s a casino and there are actual gaming-related features on the way too. The casino itself consists of 640 slot machines and 18 live tables. There will also be a smoke-free area dotted with 104 slot machines of its own, plus four live tables. Table games will include blackjack, baccarat, and other Class III games.

The new Brighton casino be 38,000 square feet. That’s a big upgrade over the 27,000 square-feet facility it’s currently housed in. Moreover, this property will also include a hotel, which the other doesn’t. The new Brighton hotel will be four stories with 100 guest rooms, its own fitness center, and a 1,500-square-foot pool. There will also be indoor and outdoor stages for events.

“The next step from here is we’re really starting to narrow down,” said Pete Tuffo, president of Florida Gulf Coast and National Gaming at Suffolk Construction, which is overseeing the development. “Over the next three months, you’ll see it start to look more like its final shape. You’ll see more colors, more of the finishes show up.”

Seminole Tribe Still Celebrating Sports Win

The Brighton casino will also allow sports betting inside the Tribe-owned, Hard Rock Bet app. A recent Supreme Court decision all but guaranteed the tribe a monopoly as the only Florida sports betting app until 2051 — yes, 27 years from now!

See, on June 17, the Supreme Court — the biggest of all courts in America — denied a petition for a writ of certiorari by West Flagler Associates (WFA), which sought to challenge the legality of a 2021 gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state.

This compact grants the tribe exclusive rights to mobile sports betting in Florida through the 2051 year we mentioned before. It was a 30-year agreement signed — without any vote — and at a price tag of $20 billion.

This arrangement sparked multiple lawsuits, with WFA’s case reaching the Supreme Court. However, the Court declined to hear the case, leaving the compact intact and Seminole’s monopoly firmly in place.

See what we mean, it’s good to be the Seminole Tribe right now. Both news developments guarantee them billions of dollars for the foreseeable future and what’s to complain about that?

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Eric Uribe

Eric was born and raised in Nevada — the center of gambling in the United States. Throw in his natural interest in sports, and Eric was destined to be a sports bettor. This came to a head once Eric turned 21. Already a working sports journalist while in college, Eric began betting at his local sportsbook. Despite massive losses (at first), Eric continued to chip away at wagering. Eventually, he got half-decent at it. Now Eric is a trusted betting analyst. Not only is he skilled at making picks, but also breaking down the state of the industry — legalization, revenue, and innovation. You can read Eric's writings exclusively on OSB.