Hard Rock Ups Charitable Contributions in Tampa Bay

TAMPA – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino marked its 20th anniversary in Tampa by upping its ante with local philanthropies to more than $10 million.

In the most recent wave of donations, the property – owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida – donated $400,000 to 20 charities in $20,000 increments. According to a release, the charities’ leaders didn’t know they were about to be beneficiaries of the donations.

“Having been a major economic force in the Tampa Bay area for the past two decades, it’s our privilege to give back through this initiative,” Steve Bonner, President of Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, said in a release. “’Love All-Serve All’ is more than a motto to us; it’s our guiding principle. Through our philanthropic efforts, we continue to invest in the community by advocating for important causes that are making a real difference in countless lives every day.”

Seminole Hard Rock is one of the largest employers in the Tampa Bay area, with over 4,300 on payroll and more than 150 in their 20th year or more with the brand.

“Clearly, we want to use this occasion as a celebration of our successes and accomplishments,” Bonner said. “But, more importantly, we want to give back to show we are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support from the Tampa Bay community throughout all of these years.”

Tampa Bay Communities Receiving $20,000 from Seminole Hard Rock:

  • Best Buddies Tampa Bay
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Tampa Bay
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay
  • Bullard Family Foundation
  • CASA
  • Children’s Dream Fund
  • David A. Straz Center For the Performing Arts
  • Florida Aquarium
  • Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Habitat For Humanity of West Pasco and Pinellas
  • Hispanic Family Research Cultural Center
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay
  • Junior League of Tampa
  • Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful
  • Make A Wish of Southern Florida
  • St. Joseph’s Hospitals Foundation
  • The Centre for Women
  • The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
  • The Spring of Tampa Bay
  • Zoo Tampa

Seminole Tribe Florida Gambling Empire Holding Strong

Hard Rock’s hold on Florida sports betting remains firm even as two state parimutuels, led by the former owners West Flagler Associates, continue to fight Hard Rock’s sports betting monopoly in the United States Supreme Court.

Last week, the Department of the Interior filed documents stating why the Supreme Court should not grant West Flagler’s petition to take up the case. The department, which tacitly allowed the Seminoles’ 30-year sports betting compact with Florida to become law by not rejecting it in 2021, defends its interpretation of how the Seminole’s so-called “hub-and-spoke” model, which allows it to take mobile bets off tribal lands, falls within the scope of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Sports betting in Florida was shut down for over two years before a federal appeals court panel agreed with DOI’s interpretation, allowing state-wide mobile wagering to resume. DOI also invoked the Equal Protection clause in its argument, attempting to drill down on the minutia of how compacts are legalized in states.

West Flagler responded on Monday but has been unsuccessful in making its case to the Florida Supreme Court.

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Lead Writer
Brant James is a lead writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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