Florida Legislators Confirm Ongoing Work To Legalize Sports Betting
Florida House and Senate leaders have confirmed that they are "engaged in an effort to reach a deal" with Gov. Ron DeSantis that would update the state's gambling laws by "allowing organized sports betting and bring in new revenue from the Seminole Tribe," according to Mary Ellen Klas of the MIAMI HERALD. State Rep. Mike La Rosa said that lawmakers are "hoping to find an agreement that would allow the Seminole Tribe, which owns the Hard Rock casinos, to restore its revenue sharing payments to the state, and also help the parimutuel industry 'modernize' its gambling options." However, state Sen. Travis Hutson said DeSantis has outlined his parameters, emphasizing that he "doesn't want any broad expansion of gaming in Florida." Klas notes among the ideas being discussed is a "plan to allow the parimutuels to continue operating designated-player games, the card games that a federal judge said violated the Seminole Tribe's now-defunct agreement with the state." In order for the Seminole Tribe to "enter into a compact that involves revenue sharing with Florida, the state would have to give it exclusive access to something its competitors don't have." Legislators "see sports betting as an opportunity to give the Tribe something exclusive, allow the parimutuels to keep their controversial card games, and increase state revenue" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/28).