Florida Sports Betting Details Could Come Today

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All that remains left to see is the fine print. 

News broke yesterday that after years of trying to get a deal between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the two sides had apparently come together allowing for expanding gambling opportunities in the state, including sports betting

Last night, the tribe, in a statement to the Miami Herald, confirmed it.  

“The Seminole Tribe of Florida is committed to a mutually beneficial gaming compact with the State of Florida and looks forward to its approval by the Florida Legislature, the Seminole Tribal Council, and the US Department of the Interior,” said Marcellus Osceola Jr., chairman of the tribe.

The deal is expected to bring the state upwards of $500 million in annual revenue and is expected to be formally announced later today. 

Now What?

The Florida Legislature ends its 2021 regular session a week from today, April 30. 

Last night, House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R) indicated that should a deal actually come about — Florida has seen this happen before, only to see deals collapse at the last minute — a special session would likely take up the measure. 

“Once we actually get to see the words on the page, I anticipate there may be a special session to address those issues,” he told local reporters.

The Fine Print

There seem to be aspects of the deal all sides can be happy about.  

The Seminoles would get exclusive rights to all Florida sports betting and would operate one skin. Only one additional skin would be available.  

The tribe would also be allowed to open three new casinos in the state, including one in Hollywood. They would not object to the development of a new casino, operated by an entity other than the tribe, in the Miami area. 

Struggling race tracks would be allowed to operate card games. 

But some details remain unclear. Namely two big hurdles that have nothing to do with the legislature.

First, voters in 2018 passed a statewide referendum giving them the power to approve new gambling options — and not lawmakers.  

Second, because the deal involves tribal gaming, the US Department of Interior needs to sign off on it.  

About the Author
Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with a focus on legislation and political content. Mary is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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