TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – For the first time, Floridians will be able to place legal sports bets on a game, thanks to the recent launch of the new Seminole Tribe sports betting app.
The Seminole Tribe app is the only legal way for Floridians to bet on sports, but that monopoly could be short-lived if a citizens’ initiative is on the ballot and is approved by voters next year.
The launch of the Hard Rock SportsBook app fully implements the $ 500 million per year gaming contract with the Seminole Tribe.
Sports betting accounts for $ 50 million of the transaction.
“It’s great to finally see all of this work come to fruition,” said State Representative Randy Fine.
Fine led the House’s efforts to approve the pact.
He hopes that the launch of the app will drive bettors out of the black market.
“A lot of people don’t want to break the law, and also people worry about the legitimacy of the game,” Fine said.
But others, like Senator Jeff Brandes, predict that the tribe’s monopoly on sports betting will have the opposite effect.
“What you’re going to find is that some people don’t want to place sports bets this way, so they’re going to use illegal apps,” Brandes said.
But supporters of a citizens’ initiative to fully legalize sports betting in Florida told us they had already gathered nearly half of the nearly 900,000 signatures required to conduct the 2022 ballot.
It is not surprising that the Seminole tribe is retreating.
He issued a second attack announcement in three weeks urging voters not to sign the petitions.
“Because we already have a plan that works for us,” said a man featured in the ad.
If the amendment passes, voters can decide whether to keep sports betting in the hands of the tribe or allow other companies like FanDuel and DraftKings to enter the Florida market.
The sports betting initiative, if approved by 60 percent of voters, allows the legislature to tax sports betting.
These revenues should be spent on education.
And Fine said that no matter what voters decide, the state will always cash in at least $ 450 million a year from the pact.
“So we’re still in a much better position than before the pact was passed,” Fine said.
And even if the sports betting market opens up, the Tribu Séminole will still be able to participate, it will only have to share the profits with the competitors.
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