Florida House of Representatives passes sports betting bill

  • The Florida Legislature has passed legislation for regulated sports betting in the state.
  • The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s new Tribal Gaming Compacts were approved that include roulette, craps, and retail and mobile sportsbooks.
  • The industry is expected to go live in the Sunshine State on October 15.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida House of Representatives passed sports betting legislation on Wednesday, officially adding the Sunshine State to the list of states with regulated sports gaming nationwide. SB 2-A, the proposal to open sportsbooks throughout the state via the Seminole Tribe of Florida and their establishments was passed by a vote of 97 YEAS and 17 NAYS in the House.

The bill will now be sent to the Department of the Interior for the next 45 days to receive the approval of the Secretary before the state can enact the new Tribal Gaming Compacts negotiated by the tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis that include regulated sports betting. It is a rule of the tribes that all gambling expansions require this step prior to any launch as is stated within the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

What Florida Has To Look Forward To

Florida sports wagering will be available for anyone 21 and over at Seminole establishments across the state. A number of these facilities will be in the South Florida area. But that doesn’t mean Floridians will not be able to gamble on sports if they’re not near one of these locations.

Mobile sportsbooks will be made available through online pari-mutuel websites. Per the 30-year compact agreement, these sites need to have at least three sports betting operators working with them to offer online and mobile sports betting. Names that have been thrown out as potential platforms are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and WynnBET. Having mobile sports gaming is something that was a back-and-forth scenario throughout the session but it looks like it’s a go-ahead, pending any future legal issues in regards to it.

“We’re going to allow the Seminole Tribe to offer sports betting where you can you can be sitting in your bathtub or sitting on your couch, thinking about a football game and you can make a wager, regardless of where you physically are, on your cell phone,’” said Representative Randy Fine, the House chair of the Select Committee on Gaming.

What’s Next?

Florida still needs approval from D.C. and then be able to get through any lawsuit they may see from those that believe regulated sports betting in the state being done in this manner is in violation of Amendment 3 of the Florida Constitution where it says residents need to vote on gaming expansions.

However, after getting through all of that, mobile and retail sportsbooks will launch in the Sunshine State on October 15. And from each day after, the state will receive $1.5 million from the Tribe through this compact deal approval. This will be a minimum of $500 million annually and $2.5 billion within the first five years. This was just one of the many reasons for the passage of SB 2-A on Wednesday.

“Congratulations on a historic compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” said Representative Chris Sprowls after the vote.

The U.S. sports betting industry can finally welcome Florida and its players to the party.

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