DraftKings & FanDuel Financially Back Florida Sports Betting Initiative

  • DraftKings and FanDuel have each donated $10 million apiece to back a sports betting initiative in Florida.
  • Currently, the Seminole Tribe of Florida will have complete say over all sports wagering in the Sunshine State through their new Tribal Gaming Compacts.
  • The Initiative would put sports gaming to a vote on the November 2022 ballot under Amendment 3 but would undo the new compact agreement.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Regulated sports betting in Florida is supposed to happen this year but big named companies like DraftKings and FanDuel are dropping millions in donations to back an Initiative to stop this from happening. Let’s be clear; two of the biggest names in sports wagering are in no way against their own market, just in the way that the Sunshine State is going about it.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida will have a monopoly on the Florida sports betting industry after a Tribal Gaming Compact worth $2.5 billion for the state was negotiated and approved by the tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis. Some people were outraged at the gaming expansion, especially commercial companies that would be unable to enter the market. It was at this point that an Initiative was born and DraftKings and FanDuel have each donated $10 million to the cause.

What Are The Hopes For This Initiative?

Per the Constitution of Florida, regulated sports betting or any type of gambling must be voted on by the public as it would require a constitutional amendment to allow it. In putting sports betting on the ballots, companies such as DraftKings would be eligible to open their sportsbooks in the state if the people of the state voted in favor of gambling on sports.

“Thank you to DraftKings and FanDuel for stepping up to the plate in an incredible way to kick off our amendment process that stands to help all Floridians. Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition,” said David Johnson, Chairman of the Florida Education Champions political committee.

Should the Initiative come to fruition, the topic of sports betting in Florida would be placed on the November 2022 ballot for constituents to vote on through Amendment 3. A majority vote would result in businesses like DraftKings and FanDuel launching mobile sportsbooks in 2023.

These would be statewide platforms for Floridians to wager on sports. The main draw outside of telling folks that it’s written in the Constitution to go about it in this manner is telling them that all the money made in revenue would go toward the state’s education system whereas the money made with the current system with the Seminole Tribe can be put anywhere that needs funding in Florida.

What Would This Mean For The Seminole Tribe?

The new Tribal Gaming Compact would be void and Florida would no longer be entitled to $2.5 billion over the next five years if this Initiative comes to light. More money will be needed to get it off of the ground, not to mention a vote of 60% for it to pass. It seems unlikely that the Sunshine State would pass up the chance at so much money being put back into their economy. Furthermore, they’ve only just mended their relationship with the Seminoles so now would not be the time to undo all the hard work that was put into giving Florida a sports betting market and a new partnership with the tribe.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s approval is the last piece of the puzzle for sportsbooks to become official in Florida with a launch slated for late 2021 to early 2022.

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