Seminoles Start Construction On New Florida Casino

Written By TJ McBride on January 13, 2023
Seminoles break ground on new casino & hotel in Okeechobee

A new casino resort is coming to the Sunshine State later this year.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida broke ground on a new casino and hotel Jan. 5 in Okeechobee to replace a casino on the Brighton Reservation. The new resort will include a 600-room hotel, two restaurants and a coffeehouse.

New resort will be 3 miles south of current casino

The Seminoles own and operate six Florida casinos. However, they expanded their reach in recent years. The tribe’s corporate entity, Hard Rock International, owns more than a dozen properties across the US, including casinos in Nevada and Wisconsin.

 The tribe’s new project in Okeechobee will become the Seminole Hotel Casino Brighton. It will replace the 27,000-square-foot Seminole Brighton Casino which sits 3 miles north. The old resort does not have an accompanying hotel.

The new casino will be 160,000 square feet. It is set to open in December 2023.

Seminole Tribe operates six casinos in Florida

The Seminoles operate six casino resorts in Florida. They are:

  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
  • Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood
  • The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
  • Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
  • The Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee
  • Seminole Casino Brighton

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood features 1,271 rooms between three hotel towers, a casino that houses 3,000 slots, 193 table games and a poker room with 45 tables. The Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood was the first large-stakes bingo hall in the country when it opened in 1979. Now, it also features gaming machines and poker, while also serving food at three different venues to go with a full-service bar.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is considered one of the largest and most successful casinos in the world. It has 5,000 slot machines, 179 table games and a state-of-the-art poker room with 46 tables. It also sports 10 restaurants and a salon.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek has 2,200 slot machines, 70 table games and 28 tables for poker. There is also a non-smoking section which has 130 slots and 10 table games. The Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee has 1,300 slots and 38 table games in its massive 51,000-square-foot casino. It also boasts several dining options and an events center. There’s also a lounge for nightly entertainment with no last call called the Zig Zag Lounge.

Seminole Casino Brighton has 400 slot machines in addition to live-action blackjack e-tables and high-stakes bingo in its casino. It also has a smoke-free area with slot machines and a restaurant and bar.

Tribe is expanding operations in Vegas, Wisconsin and beyond

The Seminole Tribe has moved onto the Las Vegas Strip. Hard Rock International recently bought The Mirage resort and casino from MGM Resorts International for nearly $1.1 billion in cash. That agreement makes the Seminole Tribe the first Native American tribe to own and operate a resort on The Strip.

The deal was finalized on Dec. 19. The tribe plans to eventually build its iconic guitar on the site to replace the volcano feature which currently sits in front of the hotel. The new resort will be the Hard Rock Las Vegas.

The tribe is also working with the Menominee Tribe to build a casino in Kenosha, WI. The project recently gained new life after first being proposed in 2015. It will sit on 60 acres on the west side of Kenosha.

The tribe is also developing a property in Bristol, VA, and runs casinos in the Dominican Republic and in Vancouver, Canada, and is developing a property in Ottawa.

Photo by
TJ McBride Avatar
Written by
TJ McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver. He covers the gaming landscape across multiple states in addition to his main beat covering the NBA's Denver Nuggets. His NBA work can be found at several major media outlets including ESPN, FiveThirtyEight and Bleacher Report.

View all posts by TJ McBride