Sports Betting Legislation Introduced in Florida

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Florida Senator Jeff Brandes has filed three pieces of legislation (SB 968, SB 970, and SB 972) that would allow sports betting in the Sunshine State.

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SB 968 is the primary bill, SB 970 covers licensing fees, SB 972 covers taxation.

The state lottery will oversee licensing.  A permit fee of $100,000 will need to be paid. License holders will provide a 50/50 split of revenues with the state.

Operators can offer bets via their website, mobile application, or self-service kiosk.

There will be challenges in passing said legislation.

A previous bill introduced earlier this year that would have given the dominant Seminole tribe the ability to offer sports wagering failed.

The Seminoles and state could not agree on a revenue-sharing pact.

The current bill looks to bypass the Seminoles.  It should be noted that the Seminoles teamed up with Disney to push for a voter referendum that passed last year, each enterprise shelling out millions of dollars.  That referendum gave voters the ability to decide on any casino gambling expansion in the state.

“This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal law regarding state/tribal compacts.”

Some lawmakers have argued that sports betting does not necessarily constitute casino gambling.

In the past, the Seminoles have been successful at blocking daily fantasy sports legislation from passing.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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