Proposed plan could expand Seminole Hard Rock Casino

- A proposed plan could expand Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.

The $1.8 billion program would add a second hotel, new restaurant, shops and helipad to the Orient Road property. Upgrades would also include remodeling the existing Hard Rock Cafe, if lawmakers support the deal.

The expansion is included in a gaming compact signed by Governor Rick Scott and Seminole Tribe Chairman James Billie in December. The compact would also expand the tribe's Hollywood, Florida property, adding a guitar-shaped hotel with 800 rooms.

The compact must be approved by the Florida Legislature to take effect. It would give the tribe exclusive rights to Black Jack and more gaming options.

"The tribe was extremely grateful to have the governor visit and add focus to this issue," Seminole Tribe Spokesperson Gary Bitner told FOX 13 News.

Opponents of the plan include No Casinos, a Florida Lobby Group. President John Sowinski has called the proposed gambling agreement a "bad deal for Florida" that expands gambling, violates the Florida Constitution and "undermines the economy."

Supporters say the new compact would save 3,500 jobs, create nearly 15,000 construction jobs and add nearly 5,000 permanent positions.

Stay with FOX 13 news for the latest.

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