Golf resort

Eric Trump wants to turn the family’s Doral golf resort in Florida into a huge casino

Eric Trump plans to turn the family’s Doral golf resort in Florida into a gambling destination.

The former president’s second-eldest son, who runs the family’s private business, is touting the idea amid a push by Florida Republicans to legalize casinos in areas that have opposed it.

A bill has yet to be submitted but there are strong rumors of a proposal drafted by Republican legislative leaders.

Eric Trump plans to turn the family’s Doral golf resort in Florida into a gambling destination

Supporters and opponents are already bracing for a fight that could see Donald Trump tap into his friendship with Governor Ron DeSantis.

The potential bill would allow developers to grant gambling licenses to properties in areas where casinos have been banned and prevent the local municipal government from intervening, reports The Washington Post.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, an outspoken critic of the game, said: “My understanding is that they are trying to take the gambling licenses that are in South Florida and make them portable and prevent local governments to stop them.”

The Miami Beach City Commission is already preparing for a challenge and on Wednesday authorized the hiring of legal counsel.

Eric Trump told the Washington Post that the Doral resort in Miami would be a natural fit for a gambling paradise.

The resort's (pictured) revenue fell sharply during Trump's presidency, dropping 44% in the last year alone, according to its government disclosure form

The resort’s (pictured) revenue fell sharply during Trump’s presidency, dropping 44% in the last year alone, according to its government disclosure form

The site, which is a visitor and business center, has seen a lull over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revenues have fallen sharply during Trump’s presidency, dropping 44% in the last year alone, according to his government disclosure form.

Eric said: “A lot of people consider Trump Doral to be unmatched from a gaming standpoint – over 700 acres, properties just don’t exist of this size and quality in South Florida, let alone in the heart of Miami.”

Donald Trump built a casino empire in Atlantic City that led to bankruptcies and often spoke out in favor of casino expansion in Florida.

Gambling in Florida is mostly limited to tribal casinos and horse racing and there is regular discussion about whether to expand the industry into the Sunshine State.

A person familiar with the current proposal says it’s the closest they’ve come in eight years to reforming the state’s gambling laws.

Sources said the plans were led by Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson, a Republican from Trilby.

Trump bought the Doral site in 2012 for $150 million before hiring a lobbyist to push for new gambling laws

Trump bought the Doral site in 2012 for $150 million before hiring a lobbyist to push for new gambling laws

It could be presented as early as next week.

DeSantis has forged a relationship with Trump and voiced support for his re-election last year.

Despite Republican dominance in the State House, Senate, and executive branch, opinions on gambling reforms do not run along partisan lines.

Figures from both parties rejected previous proposals, and the state constitution requires voters to approve gambling via ballot.

Property developer Armando Codina said he was aware of the proposals and was working to fight them.

He thinks the reforms could make the Doral resort worth hundreds of millions of dollars more than its current valuation with a casino.

Before running for president, Trump spent years trying to convince state lawmakers to approve new casino licenses to no avail.

He bought the Doral site in 2012 for $150 million, prompting Trump to hire a lobbyist to push for new gambling laws.

Government records show he now has a $125 million loan on the Deutsche Bank property and the resort lost $162.3 million in 2018, according to The New York Times.

Club Doral is 70 miles south of Mar-a-Lago where Trump has moved since being elected to the White House.