Sports betting in the state of Florida has been a point of contention of late, and it appears that it will dominate the conversation in 2020 as well. Senator Jeff Brandes filed three separate bills to the state legislature on Monday in hopes of getting the discussion going in early January. Each of the three bills is extremely different from previous ideas and discussions, but it still seems unlikely that sports betting will be legalized anytime soon.
The three bills proposed by Brandes would put the Florida State Lottery in charge of the sports betting scene in the Sunshine State. State lotteries have been put in charge of the sports betting industry in other states that have legalized the industry, and things have gone smoothly in those states. The Florida State Lottery would be able to issue other licenses to give retailers the opportunity to offer sports betting as well, but there wasn’t an exact number of potential licenses in the language of these bills.
Money is always at the forefront of the sports betting discussion, and the bills would set a cost of $100,000 for any sports betting license. Any sports betting retailer would then be forced to pay a 15 percent tax on all revenue that is generated from sports betting. Another important part of these bills is that online/mobile sports betting would be legalized as well.
Seminole Tribe Will Be A Huge Hurdle
The Seminole Tribe controls the gaming and gambling industry in the state of Florida, and it has been the biggest opponent to the legalization of sports betting. The Seminole Tribe does not want to see sports betting legalized because then it would lose out on a bunch of gaming and gambling revenue. State lawmakers have tried to work with leaders of the tribe in the past, but they were unable to reach any sort of agreement.
Not only does the Seminole Tribe control the gambling industry in the state of Florida, but it also has a huge say in the political landscape. It will be hard for state lawmakers to approve any bill that legalizes sports betting because the Seminole Tribe will be able to convince lawmakers to vote against it.
Daily Fantasy Sports aren’t even legal in the Sunshine State because it faced too much opposition from the Seminoles. Expect strong opposition to come from the Seminole Tribe again in the coming weeks.
Florida Wants to Join New York, California, Texas
Florida is trying to follow suit with two of the other biggest states in the country in its efforts to legalize sports betting. The state of New York already has legalized sports betting, but it is now in a fight to legalize mobile and online wagering.
Bills have been proposed in the state of California to legalize sports betting, and there will be discussions held at the beginning of January. Florida is actually ahead of the state of Texas, as the Longhorn State will not even begin having discussions about the possibility of legalizing sports betting until the year 2021.
There is plenty of money to be had by legalizing sports betting, and lawmakers in Florida are trying to bring in more revenue for the state.