Featured in this article:
- The new composition will bring mobile and retail sports betting
- The Seminole tribe will pay at least $ 500 million a year to Stan
- The agreement still requires federal approval
- Opponents of gambling will file a lawsuit to stop implementing the agreement.
On Wednesday, legislators approved a new 30 - year Florida casino and sports betting contract with the Native American tribe of Seminole. During a special legislative session, Florida politicians decided to put aside ten years of legal disputes.
The deal will allow the Seminole tribe to maintain a monopoly on the new Florida betting industry. The Tribe Casinos will also be able to offer certain table games for the first time.
In return, the Seminole Tribe will resume contributions to the Florida coffers. The renegotiated deal requires $ 2.5 billion in transfers in just the first five years. However, any expansion of the Florida casino and sportsbook still requires federal approval.
Florida Casino and Sportsbook Deal Replaces Chaos
Over the years, Florida brokers have tried to update and improve the state's gambling laws. Currently, only tribal casinos are allowed, and none are located north of Tampa. But parimutuel gaming interests fought against any further concessions to the Seminole tribe.
Parimutuels is a loose collection of horse and dog racing tracks as well as jai alai pediments. Despite the Tribe having an exclusive gambling license in Florida, the parimutuels have opened card rooms. After bitter negotiations and a lawsuit, the Seminole tribe decided to stop making annual payments to the state. The tribe argued - successfully - that Florida had breached a prior agreement by not closing the card rooms.
Tribe activities have cost the state approximately $ 250 million a year as of 2019. For Governor Ron DeSantis, the resumption of tribal payments was a top priority. Now the end-to-end solution has finally overcome the legislative quarrels.
Seminole Tribe will operate Florida sports betting
Less than a month ago, it became known that any deal between Florida and the Seminole tribe had expired. However, renewed pressure from the governor and chairman of the Seminole tribe, Marcellus Osceola, Jr. overcame numerous roadblocks. The tribe will control all Florida bookmakers with the possibility of working with other interests such as parimutuels. The Seminole tribe will also control Florida's mobile betting infrastructure.
In return, the Seminole Tribe will no longer oppose running parallel card rooms. Additionally, parimutuels will need to come to an agreement with the Tribe if they wish to build retail sports betting in their locations. Agreements between parimutuels and the Seminole tribe may also include skins for mobile betting on race tracks and fronts. Under these agreements, a portion of the income from accompanying sports betting would be shared with the tribe.
All Seminole casinos are located in South Florida. Therefore, would-be bookmakers from parimutuels could bring retail betting into more areas of the state.
After all, Florida Casino and sportsbook law had a strong backing
The new 30-year deal passed the state Senate with an overwhelming 39-1 vote. Florida House then gave its approval by 97 votes to 17 against. After years of difficult trials, the popularity of this agreement shows that lawmakers are willing to finally update the rules.
The fuel industry was finally able to back the deal after Florida residents voted to ban greyhound racing across the state from 2021. In addition to the pandemic, they had a hazy financial future without the shock that bookmakers could provide. Now they can continue to operate and even expand their lucrative card rooms.
Seminole Tribal Casinos will now also be able to offer a full line of table games. This means that legal craps, roulette and baccarat will appear in the Solar State for the first time. Most likely, they will also feature Las Vegas style retail bookmakers.
Another change to the final agreement introduces "portability" of the casino licenses. The late bill change only provided a 15-mile no-go zone to Seminole's Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. Located off the 18th - mile zone? Both the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach and former President Trump's Doral Golf Resort. By comparison, Disney maintains a 42-mile no-gamble zone surrounding its theme parks in Orlando.
New legal control of Compact Likely Faces
Despite the overwhelming legal backing, the new Florida casino and betting deal will almost certainly be brought to trial. In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 3. This state's constitutional amendment was intended to ensure that any future Florida gambling expansion had the support of voters.
The new tribal arrangement clearly bypasses voters, whether they would support the update or not. The question is whether sports betting is covered by the terms of the amendment. Opponents of gambling have already announced their intention to bring the new deal to court.
In addition, there is no guarantee that the new agreement will be approved by federal authorities. The Department of the Interior is required to sign all tribal gambling contracts under India's 1988 Gambling Act. As Seminoles accepts mobile bets from Florida residents who are not on tribal land, there is legal uncertainty.
Lawmakers, Governor DeSantis, and tribe lawyers believe they will overcome legal obstacles. However, lawsuits could delay the launch of a new Florida casino and sports betting laws. For now, those hoping to bet on recurring Buccaneers as Super Bowl champions may be out of luck.