Florida is one of the major markets that the sports betting world has an eye on. We already have seen a few states with tribal compacts come to an agreement and push forward with legalized sports betting. Florida is looking to be the next. On Friday, the Federal Government approved the Florida-Seminole gaming compact, which is the first step in allowing legalized sports betting. There will still be more hurdles, and 2021 seems like an unlikely date for when people can place wagers, but 2022 is on the table.
Gaming Compact Details
This past Friday, Florida and the Seminole Tribe came together to allow the tribes to operate sports betting while also adding craps and roulette to their casinos within the state. The U.S. Government needed to oversee the details and approve, as they look after tribal gaming operations. There have been a lot of dates saying that October could be when Florida starts to allow sports betting, but there is a lot to unpack first.
Seminoles will also allow sports betting at horse tracks, dog tracks, and jai alai establishments. Online sports betting has also been approved and will be allowed. Seminole-owned casinos will now be able to partner with sportsbooks and offer an online way of sports betting. Gov. Ron DeSantis had already begun to work on this deal in the Spring.
Once states begin to unravel their plan, the revenue and jobs numbers start to show it is a positive move for the state. “Today is a great day for the people of Florida, who will benefit not only from a $2.5 billion revenue-sharing guarantee over five years but also from statewide sports betting and new casino games that will roll out this fall and mean more jobs for Floridians and more money invested in this state,” Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. said. The compact is projected to have around $2.5 billion over the next five years and more than double by 2030.
Questions Remain Unanswered
The biggest question is, what happened to the ballot questions for 2022? Both FanDuel and DraftKings had begun to push money and interest into the 2022 ballot. Now under the compact, they must go through the Seminole Tribe and pay a percentage in revenue. There is also potential for a lottery system, so the whole sports betting landscape is still up in the air.
Lawsuits are also expected to come into play now, especially about where sports betting is going to be able to operate as it might be just in Tribal areas, which would limit revenue within the state of Florida.