Real Estate Developer Pours Money Into Political Donations to Secure Casino

According to finance reports, Jeffrey Soffer, a real estate developer, has made substantial donations to Florida lawmakers in pursuit of his goal. Soffer’s associates donated over $300,000 to political action committees (PACs) last year. The money was used to contribute to various campaigns, with nine Republicans representing Miami-Dade County being among the beneficiaries.

The timing of these donations is significant, as the Florida legislature’s two-month session begins this week. On the agenda are bills that could potentially pave the way for casino hotels in Miami. These bills would allow for the relocation of operations for pari-mutuel wagering and gaming activities to Miami, including Soffer’s Big Easy Casino in Hallandale Beach.

Parties related to Fontainebleau and Big Easy Casino contributed $50,000 to the Republican Party of Florida in September, and an additional $25,000 to the Florida Senatorial Republican Campaign Committee last June. Soffer has been a vocal advocate for moving a gambling permit from his Broward-based Big Easy Casino to the Fontainebleau.

Soffer has provided more than $2.5 million in political donations since acquiring the Big Easy Casino. This includes a $250,000 contribution in 2021 and 2022 to a PAC supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The push for a casino expansion in Miami is not exclusive to Soffer. Eric Trump, the son of former US President Donald Trump, has also expressed interest in turning his father’s Doral Miami golf resort into a casino if legislation opens the door for one.

While there is widespread interest in expanding casinos in Miami, Miami Beach has been staunchly anti-gambling since 2017. John Sowinski, who heads the “No Casinos” group, stated that numerous attempts have been made to bring a casino to Miami Beach, despite its strong opposition to gambling.

Sowinski believes that any efforts to introduce a casino in Miami Beach will only lead to further opposition from its residents. Additionally, the Seminole Tribe of Florida would likely take an interest in the matter, as they negotiated a deal with Governor DeSantis in 2021 to expand betting across the state.

However, as part of the agreement, DeSantis agreed not to oppose new casinos within 15 miles of the tribe’s existing gambling hubs in the Hollywood area. Miami Beach lies just 17 miles away from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

The post on Vegas Slots Online News highlights Soffer’s efforts and the broader implications of casino expansion in Miami. The source link directs readers to further information on the topic.

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