Florida sports betting and the Seminole Compact – Part 1
Bottom Line: Nearly a year ago, May 14th, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that opened the door to legal sports betting nationwide. A lot has happened around the country over the past year to make it happen in state after state. Here’s the current scorecard.
States where it’s legal (7): Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island & West Virginia
States where it’s about to be legalized (2): Arkansas, New Mexico
After those nine there’s a crush of other states currently working through pending legislation that’d potentially enable it if passed. Only 14 states don’t currently have pending legislation being considered. In Florida, we’re one of the least likely to see it happen in the near future for two significant reasons.
- We have existing laws explicitly outlawing it
- The existing Seminole compact providing the Seminole tribe with the upper hand in dictating any terms of sports betting in Florida
Had politicians known the Supreme Court would have opened the door to sports gambling when the previous compact was agreed to, they likely would have handled things differently. Here’s the bottom line.
In 2010, a 21-year compact went into effect that grants broad exclusivity to the Seminole tribe for gaming and gambling across our state. In exchange for the exclusivity the state gets 12.5% of the revenue generated. This nets the state about $340 million in annual revenue. While not legal at the time, sports gambling would fall under the protections afforded to the tribe. So, this is where the negotiation begins... I’ll lay out where we stand and what the current negotiation looks like in part two.