The Seminole Tribe is determined to be the biggest player in the Florida sports betting market.
It recently nailed down a deal that gave it major control over sports betting in the state. Their position is under threat as there are two new gambling proposals that are going to be on the ballot.
Both these proposals will allow rival operators to gain access to Florida’s sports betting market and this is something the tribe wants to prevent from taking place. Considering that there are billions of dollars at stake here, the Seminole is going all out to put an end to these new proposals.
To ensure their continued leadership in the Florida sports betting market, the tribe has put invested millions of dollars in a campaign to remind Florida residents what exactly to vote for in the coming elections.
All of this started when back when Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and Marcellus Osceola Jr. Chairman for the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed a compact that gave the tribe control over online sports betting for Florida for the next thirty years. The only requirement was that the tribe partner with pari-mutuel operators to operate the sports betting business, while the tribe gets a cut from the profits.
The Seminoles can not only offer sports betting but also table games like craps at their tribal casinos. They have agreed to pay the state government $2.5 billion over five years. This deal with the Florida government opened the gates for other operators to push for access. Pressure was placed on lawmakers to include two proposed constitutional amendments in the upcoming November 2022 vote. The Seminole are doing their best to squash those amendments and the tribe is confident that it can get the job done.
Two Proposals To Consider
One proposal comes from the two online fantasy sports giants, FanDuel and DraftKings. In their proposed amendment, sports betting would be fully legalized in the state. Florida residents would then be able to bet online and through approved retail betting locations. This would be a big blow to the Seminole tribe, if this proposal gets the necessary votes.
The other proposal comes from Las Vegas Sands Corp who is pushing for sports betting to be made available at casinos. However, it is not going to be easy to get both these amendments approved. They both need 891,589 valid petition signatures before their deadline in February 2022. An additional 222,898 signatures are needed to get a rewording of the ballot for next year.