• Florida’s new tribal compact includes provisions for sportsbooks at Seminole owned casinos along with horse racing tracks, jai alai venues, and former dog racing tracks as well.
  • The compact now head to the U.S. Department of the Interior for final approval before it becomes law.
  • Online sports betting in Florida is also expected to launch unless there is any legal pushback.
  • Lawmakers are anticipating a launch of the Florida sports betting market on October 15.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put ink to paper and passed several gambling expansion and sports betting bills.

Chief among them, at least in terms of legal sports betting, was SB 2-A. The approval of this bill authorizes a 30-year gambling compact already agreed upon by Governor DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

SB 2-A will have sports betting in Florida run through tribe by allowing retail sportsbooks at Seminole owned casinos, as well as allow pari-mutuel sites to partner with the tribes to operate sports betting.

The bill would also allow for online sports betting throughout Florida. However, this might be rejected by the U.S. Department of the Interior who have to give their final approval before the compact is put into law.

The Issue of Online Sports Betting

Back in 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 3. While the bill was written in a complex manner, it essentially made it so that local voters would have to approve any gaming expansion throughout Florida.

The Amendment didn’t apply to the expansion of gambling on tribal lands. The Seminole Tribe along with Disney spent millions on advertisements encouraging Floridians to vote yes on Amendment 3. That same amendment is being used against the tribe as a means for why online sportsbooks can’t launch in Florida.

Proponents will argue that because the servers being used to process online sports bets are located on tribal land, it won’t violate the law.

Others argue that because anyone in the state will be able to bet on sports at any time, it falls under the provisions of Amendment 3.

The Department of the Interior will now have 45 days to decide how they will go about this part of the compact.

What The State-Tribes Have To Gain

Whether or not online sports betting in Florida is approved, both parties get what’s most important to them.

For the tribes, they will have the ability to offer craps, roulette, and sports betting at their current casinos and also allow them to open new casinos. For the state, they’ll earn $2.5 billion guaranteed over the next five years, as well as continuous payments throughout the life of the compact.

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