Florida to Allocate $100m of Gambling Money Annually to Wildlife Corridor

  • House and Senate committees both approved identical bills
  • The wildlife corridor is a stretch of 18 million acres in the state
  • The state receives $2.5bn annually from the Seminole Tribe
Florida panther
Lawmakers in the both the Florida House and Senate have approved bills that would allocate hundreds of millions of gambling revenue dollars to environmental projects. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Lawmakers in Florida are on the path to allocating hundreds of millions of dollars in gambling revenue to environmental projects each year. The House Infrastructure Strategies Committee and the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee both approved the same bills.

This proposal would see $100m go towards cultivating the state’s wildlife corridor and another $100m to help manage uplands and battle against invasive species. The same sum would go to a resilience plan to deal with rising sea levels and flooding risks.

plan to connect 18 million acres of agricultural properties and publicly owned land

The wildlife corridor is a plan to connect 18 million acres of agricultural properties and publicly owned land that starts in the Florida Keys and goes all the way up to the panhandle. The state still has to secure approximately 8 million acres. About 60 different species in the corridor are currently under threat of extinction, including the Florida panther and the whooping crane.

Much of the money would come from the gambling compact that Governor Ron DeSantis signed with the Seminole Tribe in April 2021 in which the state receives $2.5bn annually for the first five years. The tribe, in return, got control over the sports betting market and was also able to expand its casino gambling options to include roulette and craps.

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