Joining the rest of the states that have legalized sports betting, Florida has become the newest state to allow its residents to legally engage in mobile betting. On Wednesday, lawmakers came to an agreement with the Seminole Tribe and approved the expansion of the gambling industry in the state. Despite that, sports betting in the Sunshine State may take longer to be realized.
Before sports betting is officially legalized, federal regulatory bodies must approve the deal with the Seminole Tribe. Regulators must make sure that the $500 million revenue sharing with the state guaranteed by the deal is legal and will also be fair to the Seminole Tribe. The new gambling deal that was ratified on Wednesday must be approved by Florida regulators in the 45 days that will follow the signing of the deal by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Punters in Florida Will Still Have to Wait to Be Able to Bet on Sports
After the agreement between the state and the Tribe was achieved, House Speaker Chris Sprowls expressed that this was a deal that was quite difficult to navigate. To reach an agreement with the Seminole Tribe, DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez had to go through some heavy persuasion of some conservative House members and Miami-Dade county lawmakers. The reason why they needed more serious lobbying was their view of the expansion of the gambling sector as a risky move.
Lawmakers who would usually show disapproval of the measure decided to agree on the deal as DeSantis exercised a veto on hundreds of other pieces of legislation that were included in the $110 billion budget. On Wednesday, the deal was approved by House members in a 97-17 vote. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Florida Senate voted 38-1 in favor of the proposed deal.
Unfortunately, punters in the Sunshine State will need to wait at least until October to be able to legally bet on sports. The reason for that is the agreement with the Seminole Tribe still needs federal approval. As there are also lawsuits that disagree with the gambling expansion, the deal’s approval may be further delayed.
Seminole Tribe to Have Monopoly on Newly Legalized Gambling Products
According to DeSantis, while the 2010 compact denied the state of Florida any profit from the revenue generated by the Tribe’s gaming operations, the new agreement will introduce some changes. If the deal with the Seminole Tribe is approved by federal regulators, estimates for the next few years predict a shared revenue of billions of dollars.
Under the terms proposed in the new deal, the Seminole Tribe will obtain a monopoly on roulette, craps, and sports betting – all three being previously unregulated. In addition to the monopoly on several new gaming products, the Tribe will also be allowed to launch three new casinos on the territory of ist Hollywood reservation.
While some lawmakers criticized the agreement, others voted in favor of the gaming expansion, stating it is the best possible deal at the current moment. Annette Taddeo, Senator of Miami-Dade county, agreed that the deal could be better but decided to vote in favor of the agreement as she believed in giving the voters what they want.