- Eric Trump told the Washington Post he wants to turn Miami Doral into a casino.
- Florida lawmakers are reportedly considering a measure to allow more gambling at properties.
- The expansive Miami Doral resort has been financially struggling for years.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Eric Trump is pushing for the Trump Organization’s financially struggling Miami Doral Resort in South Florida to be turned into a casino to help boost revenues, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The Florida state legislature is considering pursuing legislation that would allow real estate developers to grant gambling permits to properties without needing approval or authorization from municipal governments, the Post said.
The bill to accomplish that objective has yet to be written or formally introduced, but is reportedly being spearheaded by the state Senate President Wilton Simpson.
Former President Donald Trump also has a close relationship with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which could boost the Trump Organization’s fortunes of getting measures favorable to their business interests signed into law.
Eric Trump, an executive at the Trump Organization, told the Post that Doral “would be a natural choice” for such a gambling license. As of now, the Post noted, gambling in Florida is largely only allowed through tribal casinos or at racetracks.
“Many people consider Trump Doral to be unmatched from a gaming perspective — at 700 acres, properties just don’t exist of that size and quality in South Florida, let alone in the heart of Miami,” Eric Trump said in an email to the Post.
Miami Doral, which boasts over 640 rooms and four separate golf courses on the property, has been straggling for years.
Bloomberg News found that Doral’s revenues had fallen by $57 million last year, leading to layoffs and furloughs for 560 workers on the property, in an expansive overview of Trump’s finances and business interests published Wednesday.
Bloomberg’s analysis found that the former president’s net worth has fallen by $700 million since he took office, from $3 billion to $2.3 billion. Trump’s commercial real estate assets losing value has been a major contributing factor to the decline in his net worth, a trend also documented in a bombshell New York Times investigation into Trump’s taxes, the details of which Trump refused to make public throughout his presidency.
The Times reported that since 2000, Trump “reported losses of $315.6 million at the golf courses that are his prized possessions.”
In October 2019, Trump publicly floated the idea of holding the 2020 G7 summit at Doral in the slowest month for business during the summer, a move that would have required foreign governments to spend money directly at one of his properties and would have almost certainly violated the foreign emoluments clause, legal experts told Insider at the time. Trump previously called the emoluments clause “phony.”
As the Post noted, Trump — who previously operated casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey — had lobbied the Florida legislature to allow for more gambling opportunities at properties like Doral years before he was elected president.
Trump clashed with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush over the matter, who refused to budge on his staunch anti-casino positions after Trump donated substantial sums to Bush and the Florida Republican Party in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Donald Trump has repeatedly admitted he tried to buy politicians. That’s not how Jeb works,” a Bush campaign spokeswoman told CNN about the subject in 2015.
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