In May when the Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis agreed to a new gaming compact, and it was approved by the state legislature It was thought by many that finally, we would have a chance to bet on sports in the nation’s third-largest state.
But nothing is ever as easy as it looks.
The United States Department of the Interior has 45 days to review the deal signed by the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe and at that point, they will offer a ruling. During that time the USDI will review every aspect of the agreement its guarantee of $500 million in revenue sharing with the state is fair to the Tribe and legal for the state.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the deal is fraught with precedent-setting implications for the nation and Native American tribes, which could use Florida’s model to negotiate similar arrangements in other states. It is also expected to draw legal challenges over its constitutionality.
Sports betting fans are hoping that the Federal government approves the deal because that would start the wheels in motion for things to get rolling in the Sunshine State as soon as early October of this year. That would leave plenty of time for the bulk of the NFL season, college football and maybe even the World Series.
As the law is written anyone who is a resident of the Sunshine State over the age of 21 would be able to place a bet. Those bets could be placed at both the Hard Rock casino’s in Tampa as well ass the one located in Hollywood plus through online apps managed by the Tribe as well as Florida’s existing racetracks and jai-alai frontons.
Not to be lost is the fact that at those aforementioned locations there would Las Vegas type table games such as roulette and craps. However besides the approval from the Federal government there is another potential roadblock.
Back in 2018 there was a ballot initiative Amendment 3 that passed and it stated that any expansion of gambling in Florida required voter approval before it could become law. So, this new deal will no doubt test its constitutionality.
All that being said the most important hurdle to pass is the Federal one that still has a little less than a month left before a ruling is expected. If that one comes back as a go then we could be betting on sports in Florida this fall.