The United States sports betting market could be seeing a shift in power soon as Florida is nearing a deal to legalize that industry. If this becomes official, Florida will be the most populous state in the US to offer legal sports betting.
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe have agreed to a new gaming compact that will allow sports betting to be offered in the state. According to a report, the gaming compact is a 30-year agreement, and the Tribe will be paying the state between $500-600 million annually.
DeSantis has been a proponent of sports betting since taking office, but the Seminole Tribe was not interested until recently. This Tribe had a negative experience with the previous governor and stopped making yearly payments in 2017.
This gaming compact will still need to be approved by state legislators, and it will also need approval from the federal government. There is hope that there will not be issues in getting full approval, but that isn’t always the case.
These talks really started to heat up over the last few weeks, and there were only a select group of people a part of the negotiations. The Seminole Tribe controls the entire gaming industry in the state and could be set to benefit in a big way from a new gaming option.
Some Details Have Emerged
The complete details of this new gaming compact have not yet been made available, but information has started to leak out. The legal sports betting age will be 21 years of age in Florida, and a number of betting markets will be available.
According to the compact, sportsbooks will be able to offer bets on professional, college, and Olympic events. There will be some restrictions placed on prop betting options when it comes to college games.
The total number of potential sportsbooks was not yet revealed, but Florida is expected to have a wide range of options available. As expected, the entire sports betting industry will run through the Seminole Tribe.
Potential For Expansion
Sports betting was obviously the major part of this new gaming compact, but it will have a big impact on the Seminole casino industry as well. According to language included in the new deal, Seminole casinos can now add roulette and craps to their table game options.
The Seminole Tribe was not going to agree to sports betting without receiving something else, and Governor DeSantis agreed to this expansion. There is also an opportunity for the Seminole Tribe to build at least three new casinos in the state of Florida in the coming years.
Vote Needed Quickly
If legislators in Florida are going to approve this compact in 2021, then it must be done quickly. The legislative session is set to end on April 30, and all budget proposals must be submitted by April 27.
It seems unlikely that a vote will be taken in the next week, and it might require a special session in May before this compact is officially approved. Not all lawmakers are in favor of legalized sports betting, especially giving the Seminole Tribe all of the power.