Florida Is Likely To Join 30 States In Introducing A Legalizing Sports Betting Bill

Could Florida casinos be part of the betting on sports business in 2018?

Presently betting on sports is legal in Nevada and more narrow gaming is allowed in both Deleware and Oregon but that could change in June when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case that could open things up to a large number of states. The Sunshine State could be one of those states.

Florida is one of 18 states that could introduce bills to regulate sports betting this year, with 11 having a good chance of passing legislation. The national polling and research company Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which tracks gambling legislation nationwide, says that’s just the minimum; the firm predicts more than 30 states could introduce sports betting bills.

Since the Florida casinos are owned by native Indian Tribes they would stand a good chance of making the cut if Florida passed the law and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the opening gaming up to areas outside of Nevada.  The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida owns and operates one casino, the Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Miami. The Seminole Tribe of Florida owns and operates seven casinos located in Clewiston, Coconut Creek, Hollywood, Immokalee, Okeechobee, and Tampa.

At this point joining Florida in as likely states to introduce sports betting bill are: Massachusetts; Rhode Island; New York; New Jersey; West Virginia; South Carolina; Georgia; Illinois; Michigan; Iowa; Minnesota; Louisiana; Mississippi; Oklahoma and California. Indiana and Kentucky already have introduced bills.

You can also add Pennsylvania and Connecticut to the list of states that have already passed bills

According to the Associated Press – The U.S. Supreme Court this year will decide a case brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting in all but four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. A favorable ruling, in that case, could open the floodgates in terms of states adopting a new form of gambling.

“Assuming a Supreme Court decision or action by Congress permits it, we could see the largest simultaneous expansion of regulated gambling in U.S. history with sports betting in 2018,” said Chris Grove, the managing director for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming,

The court is expected by June to decide New Jersey’s case, which seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting by any state that did not meet a 1991 deadline to legalize it. States and private companies in the U.S. and abroad are already moving quickly to position themselves for a favorable ruling.

With states across the nation looking for new sources of revenue the adding or expanding gambling is seen as an attractive option for many. While not vouching for the political likelihood of any particular state adopting gambling legislation, David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said the predictions are “definitely in line with the historical trend of states turning more to gambling.”

Sports betting is seen as most likely to be offered through commercial and tribal casinos, or state lotteries. Some analysts and industry observers also feel that a Supreme Court ruling legalizing sports betting nationwide would prompt a rapid expansion of internet betting, as states will move to allow it to be offered online.

The quotes in this story were provided by the Associated Press. 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved with Berman Concerts and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.