The Florida Legislature

  • Florida should see the end result of newly negotiated Tribal Gaming Compacts that include sports betting on Wednesday.
  • The state expects to see a minimum of $500 million a year in annual revenue from these new compact expansions.
  • If all goes according to plan, sportsbooks could launch as early as October 15 in the Sunshine State.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Legislature opened up their special session to discuss sports betting regulations on Monday. These talks will continue well into Tuesday where lawmakers will get a better idea of exactly how everything will work within the industry.

The original 30-year Tribal Gaming Compacts negotiated between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis allowed for mobile sports betting statewide. However, those in attendance on Monday said this could pose a problem for the constitution of Florida and how it requires an amendment in order to expand on gaming issues like sports betting.

What The Tribal Gaming Compact Of Florida Looks Like Now

The entire set of regulated sports gaming rules for Florida should be approved by Wednesday and ratified to the liking of both the legislature and the tribes. All committees are going into this with the intent to pass the new compact that will give Floridians sportsbooks through the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s casinos.

While no mobile platforms will be made available statewide as of Monday’s meeting and its amendment, pari-mutuel websites will still be allowed to run sports betting platforms. These sites will partner with three sports wagering operations which already look to be BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. A 13.75% cut from any profits made from the Florida sports betting market through these platforms would go to the state. If within the first three months they have not partnered with three operators, this rate will be increased to 15.75%.

The tribe would get 40% from these sportsbooks. But they are eligible to run online and mobile casino games as well as have land-based sports betting venues at seven casinos statewide. Horse racing tracks could also open sportsbooks under the compact, allowing them to profit from various new outlets, making that low 40% rate sting a little less.

Over the last 18 months, Florida has not been receiving payments from the Seminole Tribe as their compact had expired but they continued to run their facilities. Through this agreement, they are more than happy to pay what they owe the state. There is also a guaranteed $2.5 billion that Florida will receive over the next five years in revenue and a minimum of $500 million each year from this new compact deal.

What’s Next?

Tuesday’s meeting will be an all-day affair. The legislature would like to iron out all of the details to get this market off of the ground for final approvals by Wednesday. However, many believe there will be pushback from those that say even this expansion will need to be put to a vote by residents in Florida.

Should that not be too much of an issue, the new Tribal Gaming Compact will still need to go to Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of the Interior where it will sit for a period of 45 days before receiving the approval of the Secretary. This is a rule set forth by the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

If all goes according to plan, Florida will see sportsbooks going live beginning as soon as October 15.

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