Florida Gov. De Santis Signs Seminole Sports Betting Bill

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Gov. Ron De Santis signed a legislation on Tuesday that would allow Florida’s Seminole tribe to offer sports betting while adding roulette and craps to their casino offerings.

The bill, which could be worth a potential $20B in taxes over the next 30 years for the Sunshine State, was approved by the Florida House and Senate last week. It still needs the confirmation of the U.S. Department of Interior, which oversees tribal gaming operations in the United States.

Seminole Sports Betting Could Start on October 15th

Under the agreement, Seminole sports betting could commence by October 15th. Wagering on sports at horse tracks, jai alai frontons, and former dog tracks will also be allowed for a share of the income. The Seminole tribe would also be permitted to operate legal online sports betting.

DeSantis also signed a bill on Tuesday that would establish a gambling commission that would regulate pari-mutuels and investigate illegal gambling in Florida. The Governor also signed another bill that allows jai alai frontons, dog tracks, and a harness racing track in the Miami-Dade and Broward counties to continue operating slots and card rooms even without holding live events. Under the deal, only thoroughbred race tracks are required to hold live racing events.

Critics Say Seminole Sports Betting Bill Violates Constitution

However, critics of the Seminole sports betting bill argue that it violates the state constitution on the ground that sports bets can be made outside tribal lands. However, supporters of the bill contended that since the servers used to operate online sport betting are located within Seminole property, then it is legal.

Meanwhile, Democrats who opposed the bill say that it also violates Amendment 3 of the state constitution passed by voters in 2018. That amendment prevents the expansion of gambling outside tribal property without the approval of voters.