Florida Sports betting stays up in the air, but lawmakers are preparing for the industry.
Sen. Travis Hutson is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committeewho positively reported two gaming issues last week.
On FridayHutson told LSR that Governor Ron DeSantis is still in compact tribal negotiations with the Seminole Indians. A new contract could include sports betting in Florida.
“Everything’s been positive so far,” said Hutson. “When playing, it’s always a roller coaster ride, up and down seven times before it’s a deal. I don’t know if it’s fifth or sixth, but there’s no reason not to say a deal. “
Hutson didn’t speculate on the chances of an agreement being reached, but said he felt hopeful. Time could be the deciding factor this year when the legislature ends April, 30th.
Senate last week President Wilton Simpson suggested holding a special legislature to conclude a new treaty.
Negotiations continued than in previous years
Hutson said this was the deepest thing he had ever seen. A newly negotiated pact has been needed since 2015.
The Seminoles believe that the state is violating the current pact, a 20 years Pact registered 2010because the state has allowed pari-mutuel institutions to offer card games for certain players. A U.S. district judge sided with the tribe in 2016 2019The Seminole has roughly suspended its annual payments $ 330 million because of the ongoing situation.
The card games remain a focus of discussions between the two parties.
“It’s never been this close,” said Huston. “Usually it falls apart in the sixth or seventh week when you get into the established player games and sports betting. The hiccups and hurdles are almost over, then the devil is in the details. But we’re not there yet. “
What could sports betting look like in Florida?
The state could just jump into FL sports betting and leave the tribe behind, but serious legal challenges could arise.
Hutson said that was not ideal because the state would then lose further negotiating leverage. The state would like to see annual payments from the tribe again in the future.
In light of the tribal negotiations, Hutson said it depends on whether the Seminoles get exclusivity on sports betting. One model he suggested was a hub-and-spoke model with sports betting bets all going through the tribal casinos.
In negotiations, DeSantis offered the Seminoles control of sports betting in exchange for a non-tribal casino that they block Miami Beach. The tribe turned down the offer last week, according to the Miami Herald. The Herald said it was “likely a final offer” this year.
Another issue within the negotiations, according to the Herald, is how the winnings from sports betting in Florida will be shared between Seminole and Seminole pari-mutuel Operations.
Game problems in the Senate are progressing
Simpson hopes the new contract will be drafted, according to a memo to the Senators. The Senate President has a strong relationship with the tribe.
Simpson is also driving the game accounts recently reviewed by the Appropriations Committee.
“We’re working with our in-house colleagues on a few things that we need to do outside of the Gaming Compact,” said Hutson. “No low-hanging fruit, but things that are important to all of us on both sides of the aisle.”
Florida is the largest state with no gaming commission. Senate Act 7076 would do a five-man Gaming Control Commission.
Senate Act 7080 decouples game licenses. Pari-Mutuel and Cardroom licensees would no longer have to offer harness races, quarter horse races or Jai Alai.