DeSantis Signs New Bill That Directs Gambling Revenues Toward Wildlife Preservation

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[Photo Credit: by Gage Skidmore]

A new law was signed in Florida on Thursday that will direct the proceeds from legal gambling towards the important cause of wildlife conservation.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has recently approved a new law that directs a significant portion of the state’s income from the Seminole Tribe Compact towards enhancing water quality infrastructure and management.

This legislation comes as part of the agreement between the state and the tribe, which permits the tribe to engage in online sports betting and casino gambling.

A significant amount of funding, totaling $200 million, has been allocated by Senate Bill 1638 for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining land for a protected wildlife corridor within the state.

Additionally, this funding will also be utilized for the crucial task of eradicating invasive species.

Following the upcoming fiscal year, a portion of the gaming revenues or a maximum of $100 million, whichever is less, will be allocated to these specific purposes.

DeSantis has made significant efforts to enhance the state’s ability to withstand the impacts of climate change and protect valuable regions like the Everglades.

These initiatives sparked several clashes between him and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley during their respective campaigns for the 2024 presidential election.

Haley criticized the governor during televised debates and on the campaign trail for his stance on banning fracking in the state and his opposition to offshore drilling.

DeSantis has consistently justified his stance on fracking by emphasizing its relevance to Florida alone, rather than suggesting it would have been a nationwide policy had he become president.

It is worth noting that opposition to offshore drilling in Florida is widely supported by prominent Florida Republicans, including Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R).

A gaming agreement was reached between DeSantis and the tribe in 2021, with expectations of generating approximately $6 billion in revenues for the state by the end of the decade.

[READ MORE: DeSantis Makes Prediction That Voters Will Reject Radical Abortion and Marijuana Amendments]

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