Then-potential contributions from gambling to public education projects have been found good enough by Florida voters to give the nod to a state lottery more than thirty years ago. Now, gambling giants are using a similar strategy to make sports betting legal in the state while trying to get the massive $2.5-billion agreement that has recently been reached by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida annulled.
A political committee supported by the two major sports betting operators in the US – DraftKings and FanDuel – has made a proposal for a constitutional amendment with Florida’s Division of Elections. Under the proposed amendment, sports betting services would be legalized, and the proceeds of the new form of gambling would be directed to local educational projects.
The abovementioned amendment is sponsored by Florida Education Champions, a local political committee. It would allow sports betting at pari-mutuel facilities and professional sports venues. Under the proposed constitutional change, the new form of gambling will become available online, too, via online gambling platforms. A spokesperson for the Committee revealed that its request to be placed as a question on the upcoming state ballot was just given the nod by the Florida Division of Elections. This allows the Committee to immediately start the petition collection process.
As the state Division of Elections revealed in a post on its official website, the sports betting tax proceeds are planned to be distributed to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment Seeks to Annul Recently Agreed Seminole Tribe’s Compact
The proposed constitutional amendment in the state of Florida also seeks to revoke the compact that was signed by Governor DeSantis and Marcellus Osceola Jr., the Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, in April 2021. The agreement, which was officially approved by state lawmakers in a special legislative session in May, would provide the tribe with exclusive rights to offer sports betting in the state. The compact would guarantee payments of $2.5 billion to the state over a 5-year period, with the amount expected to rise in the years to follow.
The compact got to the US Department of the Interior, which oversees gambling services provided by Indian tribes across the country, on June 21st. Then, a 45-day period for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make a decision about the fate of the deal started. The federal agency has the power to approve or reject the deal, or allow it to take effect as agreed without taking further action.
As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, the agreement between Florida Governor and the Seminole Tribe would allow the Native American tribe to offer online sports betting across the state, with pari-mutuel operators making separate contracts with the tribe. The compact will make it possible for people in the state to place bets on sports events using special apps on their smartphones, with the Seminole Tribe of Florida set to host the sports betting services through computer servers that are supposed to be hosted on tribal lands.
The new gambling compact between the state and the Seminoles passed by an overwhelming 88% positive vote from the elected legislators. It also has 3-to-1 support from local residents. The agreement’s guaranteed commitment of $2.5 billion has been the biggest commitment ever made by a gaming operator in US history so far.