Florida sports betting could be coming in just over two months as a new gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe, and Governor Ron DeSantis has received federal approval. The US Department of Interior did not act on the compact within the 45-day period, allowing the state to move forward.
DeSantis made it a top priority in 2021 to reach a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe, and he got it done just a few months ago. The Seminoles control the entire gaming industry in the Sunshine State, and it will be the same with this new industry.
The tribe has agreed to pay the state $2.5 billion over the next five years in order to receive the right to open a sportsbook. All of the sports betting must be done on tribal land, but online sports betting is technically included as well.
There are still plenty of steps that need to happen before sports betting is offered, but a target launch date of October 15 has been set.
Here Come the Lawsuits
The Seminole Tribe and Governor DeSantis expected lawsuits when this compact was signed, and they have already started to roll in. The Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room have successfully filed a lawsuit on July 2, and this will be the first of many legal challenges ahead.
The lawsuit alleges that sports betting violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, but that is something that the Seminole Tribe denies. The result of this first lawsuit could determine if and when others attempt to sue the Seminole Tribe or the state of Florida.
DraftKings, FanDuel Want In
The Seminole Tribe is going to have control over this industry at first, but keeping DraftKings and FanDuel out of the state will be tough. Both of these companies are the clear US market leaders, and they appear to have found a way to break into the Sunshine State eventually.
These companies have worked together to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2022. There is still some work to be done, but the amendment could ultimately be approved if 60% of the voters agree.
The Seminole Tribe will attempt to fight back against this constitutional amendment, but these two operators have a history of doing this exact thing.
Florida Could Become Huge Market
It is going to take a while before all of the lawsuits in the state are figured out, but Florida could soon become a massive sports betting market. This will be the most populated state to offer online sports betting, and that is going to allow the state to post some massive numbers.
The state has also agreed to allow for both college and professional sports betting, which will increase the available betting markets in the state. There will be some restrictions in place when sports betting finally launches, but Florida should be in the top five very quickly.
Florida is a state with gambling dating all the way back to the mid-1800s, and it is now ready to join the latest gaming craze.