As of January 14, 2024, owner Jeffrey Soffer of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is eager to bring a casino to the hotel, as suggested by his substantial political donations in Florida. Contributions went to groups with ties to the hotel, totaling more than $300,000 towards various Florida lawmakers’ campaigns. These donations come as Florida’s legislature has started to consider multiple gaming bills, opening the door for sought after casino hotels in the Miami area. One such proposal states that greyhound dog racing permits and authorization for casino gambling should be allowed to shift operations to other gambling activities.
Jeffrey Soffer’s previous efforts to secure gaming licenses in 2021 were unsuccessful, and Miami Beach has been officially prohibited from having casinos since 2017. Despite this, the potential for casinos in Miami remains a topic of significant interest within the gambling industry.
The Trump Organization’s Trump National Doral and Fontainebleau Miami Beach, both chaired by gaming fans, have repeatedly tried to enter the Florida gambling market but have faced serious pushback from the Seminole Tribe. They are formidable opponents, owning various land-based gaming venues in Florida, and wield substantial financial resources to try and suppress rival casino developments.
Soffer’s political contributions, which have reached $2.5 million since he took over Big Easy Casino, have mostly been targeted towards Republican politicians in Florida.
Regardless, the millionaire casino owner is persistent, openly expressing his support for gaming in Miami, while at the same time staying involved in campaigns to affect policy changes in areas of his interest.