Eric Trump Pitches Casino Resort for Trump’s National Doral Florida Golf Property

Posted on: March 17, 2021, 10:21h. 

Last updated on: July 6, 2021, 04:27h.

Trump National Doral Miami is reportedly struggling financially. But Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump and executive vice president of The Trump Organization, has a solution to turn around the property’s finances: casino gambling.

Trump National Doral casino Florida
Donald Trump shows off his golfing skills to Miss Universe contestants in 2015 at Trump National Doral. Trump’s son Eric believes a casino at the golf destination would be ideal. (Image: Getty)

Gambling in Florida is largely limited to tribal casinos, pari-mutuel wagering, and racinos that are only permitted to house player-banked card games. Racinos in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward can additionally offer slot machines.

Trump Doral is a sprawling Florida golf resort complex. It is owned by the Trump organization and located in Miami-Dade County. This week, Eric Trump suggested that the golf resort is prime to incorporate a casino.

Many people consider Trump Doral to be unmatched from a gaming perspective,” the former president’s third child and second son told The Washington Post. “At 700 acres, properties just don’t exist of that size and quality in South Florida, let alone in the heart of Miami.”

The Trump Organization purchased the Doral Resort & Spa out of bankruptcy in early 2012 for $150 million. The property underwent a $250 million renovation the following year.

Today, Trump National Doral features 72 holes of golf, headlined by the Blue Monster course. The resort has 732 rooms and suites, a 48,000-square-foot spa, and the Royal Palm Pool with 18 cabanas and a 125-foot waterslide. 

Florida Gaming Expansion

Few states have a more legally complicated gaming market than Florida. The Seminole Tribe has long maintained a monopoly on most table games, including house-banked games such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat.

There have been numerous attempts in recent years to expand gambling in the state. But the legislative efforts have failed, as the powerful Seminole Tribe threatened to cut off its revenue sharing, which is north of $340 million annually to the state. 

However, a new effort is emerging. Legislation is soon expected to be introduced in the Tallahassee capital that would allow slot machine licensees in Miami-Dade and Broward to transfer the gaming rights. The state’s current law only allows slot machines at licensed pari-mutuel facilities in Miami-Dade or Broward counties that conducted live racing during the 2002 and 2003 calendar years. 

Trump Allies

While gaming is brought up yearly in the Florida Legislature, the 2021 session is a bit different. The ex-president is now a Floridian. He is also close pals with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a GOP leader whose White House ambitions might be heavily benefited by further strengthening his relationship with Trump.

If a slot license transfer bill passes, the Trump family wouldn’t need to look far to buy a permit. Billionaire Phil Ruffin, a longtime Trump ally and supporter who also holds a 50 percent stake in Trump Hotel Las Vegas, is the owner of Casino Miami. 

Ruffin purchased the slots casino and jai alai facility in 2018. The property is located just five miles east of Trump National Doral. The slots license would presumably be much more valuable at the golf resort than in its current facility, which includes 1,000 slot machines and electronic table games.