Sports betting in Florida is still unknown. The Seminole Tribe, which will control sports betting under the potential format, is still waiting for approval from the Department of the Interior. However, the compact between the tribe and the state has not been well received by operators.
Florida can be a massive sports betting state. Why? Because of the population and number of professional sports teams. Major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel, and a slew of other platforms have been pushing hard for an enhanced sports wagering market. However, operators are at risk of being left out of the market.
Operators push for larger sports betting market
Florida sports betting is going to be narrow if the tribe controls the market. Under the pending compact, the tribe has control over the entire sports betting market. All form of betting must take place on tribal land.
If the Seminole Tribe chooses to partner with an operator, they must use the back-end technology for Hard Rock Gaming. For example, DraftKings would have to put its reputation on the line using a different technological provider.
Additionally, the financial cut heavily favors the tribe. This has caused betting providers to push for expanded sports betting. Other groups have sued the tribal compact because of its unconstitutionality, claiming that mobile betting is illegal.
If no bets can occur off of tribal land, groups have said that servers on property do not make a difference. Operators have joined together to support a ballot initiative for statewide mobile betting that the tribe does not control.
If the referendum were enacted, it would be on the November 2022 ballot. It’s believed that DraftKings and FanDuel have been the main contributors behind the lobbying effort. However, more could be pushing for legalization behind the scenes.
The allure of Florida
Leaders from other sites that have publicly stated their desire to expand Florida’s market are Barstool Sportsbook, TwinSpires, and FOX Bet. Even though these five sportsbooks have done most of the lobbying, no one platform would not like licensure in the Sunshine State.
The Sunshine State has one of the largest populations in the United States. In 2021, the total number of people in the state was 21.48 million. There are also professional sports teams from all four major leagues. Most notable ones are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, and the Lightning recently claimed the Stanley Cup.
Additionally, Florida experiences tons of traffic from tourists because of the attractions in the state. The state could quickly become one of the largest betting markets in the nation. Assuming statewide mobile betting becomes legal.
When will sports betting launch?
The tribal gaming compact will likely go through. The market will launch by football season. It’s unknown if mobile betting will go through as well. If not, people will just be able to place bets at Seminole gaming properties.
If the ballot initiative is a success, statewide mobile sports betting will not launch until 2023. However, Florida would have great operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.