Florida’s Seminole Tribe and lawmakers have been working hard on closing a deal that would regulate sports betting in both retail and online forms. Although they seem to be only a step away from reaching the final agreement, there are still some legal questions to be addressed about the sports wagering industry in the Sunshine State.
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Negotiations About Sports Betting in Florida Still Ongoing
Avid sports betting fans residing in Florida may soon be able to place wagers on their favorite sports in retail and online sports betting venues. Namely, lawmakers in charge of this matter have been trying to find a common ground with the Seminole Tribe and Gov. Ron DeSantis about bringing sports betting to the third most populated state.
If closed, the deal would allow the Seminoles to expand their game portfolio and add new gaming options, such as pari-mutuel horse tracks, to their current retail cardrooms. In addition, apart from offering retail sports betting, this deal would make space for online sports wagering.
However, according to the latest news, none of the parties have officially agreed to sign this deal, but considering the duration of the negotiations, they are close to getting everything in order.
The Seminoles Have a Big Say in Florida’s Gaming Industry
The Seminoles have been the main entity for gaming in Florida for years now. They stand behind the largest gaming establishments in the state, such as Broward County and Hard Rock casinos. And even though the Sunshine State also allows many poker rooms, horse tracks, and jai alai venues to offer gambling services, none of them can come close to the financial and political power of the tribes.
In the past, Florida has received millions of dollars from the Seminoles for the exclusive rights to hold slot machines and offer table games. What’s more, the tribes stand firm when it comes to their rights and have at one point refused to go on with payments due to the allegations that some tracks offered similar table games and thus violated their deal with the state.
This has led the state’s policymakers to suggest the addition of sports betting to the venues owned by the Seminoles as such a deal would increase the state’s annual budget. Nevertheless, the tribes also wanted to be the main medium when it comes to online sports wagering, which further complicated the deal.
Online Sports Betting to Go Through the Tribes
One of the biggest issues with the deal is the tribes would become so powerful they would have the monopoly on all gaming in the state.
Apart from getting the right to offer sports betting at their retail establishments, the Seminoles would also get to negotiate with giant sports betting companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, and Barstool and agree to manage their online betting activities.
Nevertheless, even if both parties agree to sign this deal soon, many other legal issues will have to be taken care of before sports betting becomes part of Florida’s gaming market.