One of the biggest roadblocks in many states when it comes to sports betting is the power that tribal casinos have over the gaming industry. Currently, we are seeing this displayed by the Seminole Tribe in Florida. There have been several attempts at passing legislation, but most legal experts expect some kind of a deal with the Seminole Tribe to be needed for sports betting to actually launch. Currently, the tribe runs all gaming in Florida.
There was no deal in the last rounds of talks and the time to pass something for the 2021 legislative season is about to run out. The Governor and the tribe simply cannot seem to come to a logical conclusion, as the tribe fears it will lose much of its power and revenue with legal online sports betting.
According to the Miami Herald, the biggest hold-up on the agreement was the amount of revenue that the Seminole Tribe would receive from sports betting for simply existing. The Governor’s office tried to entice a deal by offering up Miami Beach as a property for a new Seminole Tribe casino, a location that would undoubtedly make massive amounts of profits.
It does have to be stated that the current deal between the Seminole Tribe and Florida includes millions of dollars being sent the Florida government’s way. This acts as payment from the Seminole Tribe and in exchange, it gets to run a gambling monopoly in the state.
Can Sports Betting Be Achieved
This is a hard question to answer. The legislature in Florida has bipartisan support when it comes to allowing sports betting. The state would be the largest state to legalize, and the amount of revenue that Florida could bring in is unheard of. This would be a massive boost to the state’s income and would most likely increase tourism in Florida as well.
On the surface, the Seminole Tribe has sent mixed messages on whether they truly want sports betting. It seems that the tribe wants sports betting, but it will continue to leverage its position until it can receive the max amount of benefit from the deal. This is because If everything stayed status quo, then the tribe would have no issues. However, of course, the Seminole Tribe would love to be able to expand gaming in the state and receive a massive chunk of sports betting revenue in exchange for signing off on sports betting.
There, of course, are more factors. Disney was originally a massive party against sports betting; however, some believe that Disney is actually beginning to warm up to the idea of getting in on the sports betting game. They have already conceded that it helps with their streaming revenue on ESPN+, and there are talks about them investing in a sports betting platform.
There are also, of course, professional sports teams, which are extremely for legal sports betting as it would simply increase viewership and profits for them. Florida has three NFL teams, two NBA teams, two NHL teams, two MLB teams, and four MLS teams. This is an insane amount of money and power being pushed on legal sports betting. Not to mention that Florida also hosts Spring Training each year for MLB teams from the East.