Sports betting industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings contributed a massive sum last month to back a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize sports betting in Florida.
According to campaign finance records reported by Florida Education Champions to the Florida Division of Elections on Monday, FanDuel and DraftKings poured in $10M each during the month of June to back its campaign to allow sports betting platforms to operate in the state.
Established in June, the Florida Education Champions is the sports betting political action committee ( PAC ) that is pushing for the legalization of Florida sports betting.
Said David Johnson, committee chair of the Florida Education Champions:
“Thank you to DraftKings and FanDuel for stepping up to the plate in an incredible way to kick off our amendment process that stands to help all Floridians. Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition.”
Contribution Cap Blocked
The $20M funding came in before the expected effective date of a new law that would cap contributions made to committees sponsoring initiatives up to $3,000 until the constitutional amendment they are backing makes the ballot. That initiative however, was blocked by a federal judge on the day it was supposed to take effect.
After spending approximately $160,000 for research, marketing software, website management, and legal services, Florida Education Champions entered July armed with a $19.84M bank account which will be used as it war chest to push for their initiative with education as its selling point.
Legalization of Sports Betting in Florida
If approved, the amendment will legalize sports betting in Florida stadiums and other venues including pari-mutuels all over the state. It specifically authorizes online sports betting by entities authorized to conduct online sports betting and by Native American tribes with a gaming compact with the state.
The initiative would authorize the Legislature to tax legal sports betting with all revenues going to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, an account funded by the Florida Lottery and which pays for various educational programs such as the Bright Futures Scholarships.