With the Super Bowl coming and going earlier this month, residents in the Sunshine State were disappointed they were unable to place any bets on the big game. Per a recent report from News 4 Jax in Jacksonville, even though a compact was struck in 2021 between the Seminole Tribe and Governor Ron DeSantis, sports betting is still not available in the state. For normal readers of this space, this comes as no surprise as there have been many stops and starts in the sports betting process here. As pointed out in the report, a lawsuit has stopped betting in the state and an appeals court heard arguments last December and is now awaiting a ruling. This latest report tracks the most recent updates from the Sunshine State and where the state of sports betting stands now.
For this article, SBS will be going over the latest news from the Sunshine State along with more notes and information about Florida sports betting.
Per the same report from News 4 Jax, in April 2021, Gov. DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe agreed to a 30-year deal which is called a compact. In this agreement, the tribe would be allowed to operate sports betting, as well as offer craps and roulette at its casinos. In return for agreeing to this proposal, the state would get at least $2.5 billion over the first five years and an estimated $20 billion over the 30 years of the deal according to reports. Moreover, in a workaround of a 2018 voter-approved amendment that only authorized gambling in the state if it was approved by voters, the servers for sports betting would be located on tribal land.
Since then, there have been numerous legal battles over the full authorization of gaming in the Sunshine State and where it stands today. Per one report, nontribal facilities in Florida, like the owners of Magic City Casino in Miami-Dade County, sued to stop the compact in federal court. Moreover, they also sued the Department of the Interior and Interior Secretary Haaland. Later in 2021, a judge ruled with the plaintiffs. In the ruling, the judge called the idea that sports betting was taking place on tribal land because the servers would be housed there, “a fiction.”
According to the same report, that’s where sports betting has been in Florida ever since. Recently, the federal government appealed the lower court’s decision, and in December a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. heard arguments. During that hearing, an attorney for the Interior Department said the federal government has a duty to make sure the deal was consistent with the IGRA. However, an attorney for the plaintiffs said that the government could not say the compact was in line with the IGRA if it did allow gambling to occur off tribal lands.
Per a recent interview with Daniel Wallach, an attorney who specializes in gaming law, said at the time there is a bleak outlook on the chances of sports betting coming to Florida this year. In Wallach’s interview, he said “the clearest path to sports betting in Florida is, in all likelihood, through the ballot initiative process.” However, after the December oral arguments, Wallach has been more optimistic, going on to say in some tweets that “the notion of legal sports betting in Florida as early as 2023 may not be so far-fetched.”
Once you are all dialed in regarding the latest news and information coming from Florida, SBS has you covered with all kinds of other great gaming information. For even more notes about Sunshine State wagering, our Florida sports betting guide is a fantastic page that goes over the most recent news and updates regarding wagering in the state. If you are maybe uncertain about which options for payment are best for you, the SBS payment methods rundown is an excellent page to peruse. Here, you can find a plethora of different payment options from traditional routes to cryptocurrencies accepted. Finally, when it comes to higher-stakes wagering, the SBS VIP sports betting sites breakdown is a fantastic resource to use and see if VIP betting is for you.