Legally betting on sports in Florida is no more. At least for now.
A federal judge said Florida’s agreement with the Seminole Tribe violated the federal Indian law that limits gambling to tribal land only.
Attorney Daniel Wallach teaches sports betting law and regulation at the University of Miami.
“The gambler and the bet itself had to be confined of the four corners of the reservation and that clearly doesn’t happen with online or internet sports betting. So her ruling was a blow to the compact. Struck the whole compact down," said Wallach.
Under that compact, the Seminole Tribe would have paid the state at least $2.5 billion in the next five years.
Charles Broadhurst, who runs a sports marketing company called American Media Group, said the money legal sports betting is already bringing in is mind-boggling and will only grow.
“To the tune of billions of dollars. I mean you are seeing it in the NFL. There is a reason why they’ve sanctioned 3 or 4 major partners under the NFL shield. They know that people are going to be gambling and they want to make sure that they get their piece of it from a business standpoint. I think that’s really what Florida was trying to do," Broadhurst said.
Florida could agree to a new compact with the Seminole Tribe, restricting online gaming to only tribal land.
But more likely might be a new amendment on next year’s ballot that would allow statewide sports betting, opening it up to other casinos besides the ones the Seminole Tribe operates.
“I think overwhelming the people of Florida will vote yet on it. I’m just hoping from a tax revenue standpoint that at least the state of Florida is able to get a piece of that because obviously, I think it’s good for infrastructure, the community, and that kind of stuff," said Broadhurst.
“The benefit to Floridians is that it will be a more competitive marketplace because the compact granted a monopoly to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. If you’re a consumer you want to have one store to buy your products from? Or do you want to a menu of different options," said Wallach.
Online sports betting companies Draft Kings and Fan Duel are pushing for voters to approve statewide sports betting in Florida next year. Other casinos had also filed suit to stop the gaming compact.