Those backing a Nov. 2022 Florida sports betting referendum drive have about two weeks to get the required signatures certified.
DraftKings, one of the main backers of the proposed question, has now sweetened the pot – offering all their Florida customers $100 if they hit the Feb. 1 deadline.
“Sign the petition to add sports betting to the Florida ballot!
“All you have to do is print, sign, and mail in yours by Jan. 19.
“If we hit the signature count by Feb. 1, Florida customers will receive $100 DK dollars,” DraftKings Sportsbook tweeted out this morning.
Sign the petition to add sports betting to the Florida ballot!
All you have to do is print, sign, and mail in yours by Jan. 19.
If we hit the signature count by Feb. 1, Florida customers will receive $100 DK dollars.
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 15, 2022
According to the Florida Division of Elections website, the petition has 349,035 valid signatures, as of Saturday morning, of the 891,589 needed by Feb. 1.
Is DraftKings Breaking Any Laws?
Is it legal for DraftKings to pay for the signatures?
At least one expert thinks so.
“This has nothing to do with voting – DraftKings is just asking for people to sign its petition. Our vote-selling statute makes it very clear that it prohibits only the sale of actual votes,” wrote Bob Jarvis, a gambling law expert at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, in an email to Gaming Today on Saturday.
“Second, a person doesn’t get anything for signing DraftKings’s petition. S/he only gets the $100 if: 1) DraftKings hits its goal; and, 2) the person is a Florida customer with an account on 1/19/22. And notice that if a person doesn’t sign, they still get the $100 if they are a Florida customer with an account on 1/19/22”
Jarvis also cautioned those interested in the prompt to read “the fine print.”
“If DraftKings hits its target, only the first 10,000 Florida customers will get the money and those 10,000 customers are determined on a first-come, first-served basis.,” he added.
Next Steps For Sports Betting Referendum Supporters
The Seminole Tribe paid petition gathers to not work on behalf of the referendum supporters, according to Politico. The tribe has exclusive rights to gambling operations in the state, and if passed, the referendum would change that.
But this has not stopped Florida Education Champions, the formal name of the group backing the proposal, from trying to get the issue on the ballot.
“Florida Education Champions continues to collect and submit valid petitions to Supervisor of Elections’ offices across the state. They are working diligently to validate large quantities of petitions already in their offices. We are confident we will have enough signatures to meet the February 1, 2022deadline,” Christina Johnson, a spokesperson for FEC, wrote in an email to Gaming Today earlier this month.
FEC gets its name from the beneficiaries should the referendum pass. The proposal stipulates the majority of expected revenue from legalized sports betting would go toward education programs throughout the state.
Also read: Where sports betting in Florida stands