For months, lawmakers in Florida have discussed ways to improve the state’s gambling industry. State officials have been trying to come to a deal with the Seminole Tribe, who own several major casinos. A deal wasn’t made this week, yet Governor Ron DeSantis is still determined to solve Florida’s gambling issues.
There’s a lot going on here. As of now, the state cannot come to an agreement with the Seminoles on a new tax structure. Today, we’re going to look at what exactly is going on here.
Let’s get into it!
The Seminole’s Fight Over Gambling in Florida Has Lasted Months
The Seminole Tribe in Florida is one of the most notorious Native American groups in the country. Over the past few decades, this tribe has developed a massive casino industry. Unfortunately, tribal leaders have been fighting with Florida’s lawmakers over revenue-sharing deals.
In 2010, the Seminoles agreed to a compact with Florida that brought the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Tribal leaders now claim this deal is no longer valid. They are claiming that it was only agreed to for a period of 10 years.
Now, the tribe wants to negotiate the deal. In mid-2019, the first negotiations between the Seminole and Florida lawmakers took place. Hope was that a new compact could be agreed to before the end of the year.
That wasn’t the case. The previous compact officially expired in May. Since that time, the state has lost out on millions of dollars in gambling tax revenue. Both the tribe and state officials believe the other is in the wrong.
Unfortunately, this is causing some major issues. The state has threatened to shut down the tribe’s casinos. Meanwhile, Seminole leaders have been battling in the courts against politicians. Hope was that this week would finally bring an end to this fight. According to new reports, this is not the case.
Florida’s Gambling Issues Continue After Another Deal Falls Through
The Seminole tribe is taking a hardline stance here. For the most part, the tribe has been unwilling to enter into any kind of meaningful negotiations. That’s made it difficult for Florida’s House and Senate, who’ve been working to come up a new deal on their own.
This week, Florida’s House Gaming Control Subcommittee canceled another meeting between the two chambers. It was disappointing news for many who’d hoped to see this dispute finally come to an end. Even Governor Ron DeSantis is claiming he wants Florida’s gambling issues to be resolved.
“I have not met with them yet. But I would like to have a resolution, and so I anticipate meeting with them in the not-too-distant future,” DeSantis told the media. “I hope we can get something done. I think it would be good, if we can. But that is definitely on the agenda on the not-too-distant future.”
The Seminole tribe has officially stopped paying it’s annual $330 million to the state. For this reason, many lawmakers are making this dispute their number-one priority.
DeSantis seems focused on solving these issues. The tribes want a long-term deal with the state that cuts taxes. Officials want to ensure the state is getting what it’s rightfully owed. We’ll need to wait and see how this plays out over the next few months.
Sports Betting is Still Being Considered in Florida
In May of 2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, giving every state in the country the ability to legalize sports gambling. Since that time, 21 states have officially passed legislation to regulate their sports betting markets.
This industry is proving to be incredibly lucrative. Taxes from legal sports betting is helping to bring many states millions of dollars every single month. As time goes on, more states are becoming interested in legalizing this form of gambling.
In November of 2019, the first sports betting bills were presented in Florida. Senator Jeff Brandes presented the legislation “specifying requirements for accepting wagers on sports events.” State officials have been reviewing these bills for the past few months.
It seems likely that Florida will soon regulate sports betting. The only issues may come from the Seminole tribe, who are likely to argue that sports betting should only be allowed inside their casinos. As of now, however, the legalization of both land-based and online sports gambling is being considered here.
Florida’s gambling issues have been dragging on for months. Is this the year they finally end? Stay tuned for more updates!