Florida legalizes sports betting in $2.5 billion gambling deal but legal hurdles remains
Sports betting could soon be legal in Florida as the Legislature ratified a sweeping new 30 year gambling deal between the state and the local tribe.
In the end, the House voted 97-17 to approve the compact, which the Senate had approved Monday by 38-1.
Its passage was eased by the fact DeSantis held a threat of veto over hundreds of legislative efforts in the state’s $110 billion budget
Under the terms of the 30 year compact, the tribe will have exclusivity on mobile sports betting, craps, and roulette, none of which were previously legal in Florida.
The Seminoles will also be permitted to build three new casinos on their reservation in Hollywood in southeast Florida.
While the Seminoles are the big winners, they have agreed to one major concession. They will officially withdraw their objection to the state’s 26 pari-mutuel racetracks, jai-alai frontons, and racinos offering player-designated games.
These are designed to ape games like blackjack, over which the Seminoles held exclusivity under the terms of their previous compact.
Therefore, the new deal not only puts to bed more than five years of failed talks and legal battles between the tribe and the state, but it also sooths hostilities between the tribe and the pari-mutuel venues.
But legal hurdles remain. Like all compacts between a tribe and a state, this one has to be signed off on by the federal government.
Editing by Rachel Hu