Florida Senators Sponsor Ambitious New FL Sports Betting Bill

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Republican Chip LaMarca and Democrat Anika Omphroy want legalized sports betting in the Sunshine State. The two are sponsoring bills that could hit the Florida state senate when hearings begin March 2nd. There will be three bills to push forward the legalize sports betting in Florida.

The first bill, House Bill 1317,  is sponsored by State Rep. Chip LaMarca. Chip and his team will be responsible for implementing the overall sports betting policy.

The second bill, House Bill 1321, is also backed by Republican Chip LaMarca. He will work with the state to set licensing requirements for sportsbooks. This would include things such as application requirements and will help venues work with sportsbooks to approve licenses.

The last bill, House Bill 1319, is sponsored by Democrat Ankia Omphroy and is perhaps the most important bill. This bill addresses the tax structure surrounding the entire Florida sports betting industry.

The excitement from these two is oozing – as sports betting has taken its first leap forward.

Florida Working With The Seminole Gaming Commission?

The Seminole Gaming Commission regulates and manages all of the casinos in Florida. They have a total monopoly over the gambling industry within the state. The Seminole Gaming Commission is not specifically mentioned in any of the bills.

This could create a serious issue as the Seminole Tribe holds all of the leverage in the industry. However, I would be surprised if the Florida government and Hard Rock casinos both are this confident about sports betting without any plans to satisfy the Seminole Tribe.

Fans are very well aware of the leverage that the Seminole Tribe has. The top reply to Chip LaMarca’s above tweet is asking about the Seminole Tribe and if they signed off. There has been no clear answer to this question at this point.

Theoretically, the sportsbooks would need to work with the Seminole Tribes to gain a license and begin taking bets.

Florida Looking For Huge Tax Revenue From Sports Betting

Florida is setting itself up for massive revenue from sports betting. Democrat Anika Omphroy’s bill includes a $7.5 million fee from sportsbooks and a $1 million per year renewal fee.

This is by far the largest fee for a sports betting license that we have seen. The full details are not yet available so they could make up for it on the backend by lowering the percentage of profits the state takes.

The major piece of this is about keeping the money in the state. One of the main arguments for legalized sports betting in Florida is mostly about states like Georgia and others not taking the sports betting money from them.

“As we grapple with a tough budget year and as many good programs are facing deep cuts, it’s time Florida gets innovative when it comes to keeping dollars in our state.”

It will be interesting to see how Florida deals with the full spectrum of getting sports betting legalized. Furthermore, Florida sees millions of tourists every year in its state. This could lead to a massive betting volume in Florida before the end of the year.

About the Author

Erich Richter

Erich is a New York-based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. His work is featured in numerous publications. Erich is a diehard Mets, Giants, and Knicks fan (it’s been tough).

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