The sunshine state could be launching brand-new multibillion-dollar sports betting industry within a couple of months, according to economic experts observing the legalization process that is currently taking place within Florida. An agreement was reached between Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe back in April.
The sports gambling agreement includes a few important bargaining keys that benefit the Seminole Tribe. They would be granted the right to offer roulette and craps games at their establishments as a part of this agreement. In addition, the tribe would be eligible to launch in-person and online sports betting services as early as October 15th.
Sports wagering would also be available at horse racing tracks and former dog racing facilities. Marcellus Osceola Jr., the Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, immediately released a statement, specifically discussing the partnership between his tribe and the sunshine state. He called the agreement with Governor DeSantis:
Estimated revenues are expected to be more than $6 billion initially and could grow based on various factors that could impact the sports betting industry. Florida is currently home to several of the nation’s popular sports teams that compete across many different sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. The state of Florida is also home to the iconic Daytona 500 and holds many events for the NASCAR circuit every single year.
Florida Prides Itself on Sports Winners
Sports fans within the state of Florida have been spoiled with large sports victories in recent years, including a remarkable victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV that took place earlier this year on February 7th. In addition, the state is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have now won the two consecutive Stanley Cups in the National Hockey League.
With that being said, there’s no doubt that the sports betting industry in Florida will be incredibly popular among the sports fans that currently reside in the state of Florida. One of the largest hurdles was passed as the U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the agreement, clearing the way for sports betting legalization to take place on October 15th. The announcement was released from the Governor’s Office during the early hours of August 6th.
Governor DeSantis released his own statement, specifically detailing the agreement with the Seminole Tribe to legalize sports betting. DeSantis said that “Final approval of this historic gaming compact is a big deal for the State of Florida. This mutually beneficial agreement will grow our economy, expand tourism and recreation and provide billions in new revenue to benefit Floridians.”
Osceola Jr. also stated that “it was a great day for the people of Florida, who will benefit not only from a $2 billion revenue-sharing guarantee over the next five years and also from statewide sports betting and new casino games that will roll out this fall and mean more jobs for Floridians and more money invested in this state.”
Governor DeSantis started focusing on trying to legalize sports betting in his state earlier this year and signed new gambling laws towards the end of May. The new gambling legislation eventually led to the agreement with the Seminole Tribe, who will be responsible for providing high-quality sports betting services to the residents of Florida later this year when it launches in October.
The Sportsbook Legislation Is Not Without Opposition
There is some opposition to the legalization of the sports betting industry, although it’s currently unclear if there is enough support to prevent the planned sports betting launch from taking place in the middle of October. Many of the logistical hurdles have already been passed and the pathway seems unobstructed for the sports betting industry right now.
DeSantis originally signed the 2021 Gaming Compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida on May 25th. Many political observers were surprised that DeSantis signed the legislation without a major event scheduled. It’s possible that the Governor wanted to avoid highlighting the bill and bringing anti-gambling controversy into the mix. It’s also possible that the Governor’s Office simply didn’t believe that it was necessary to hold an event for this announcement, although it certainly seems unusual. There’s speculation that the Governor had an internal strategy to decrease the chance of opposition in regards to the gambling bills, especially as several other states struggle to reach agreements to launch their own sports betting industries.
If there are no unexpected issues that pop up within the next few days, Florida residents can expect to see legalized sports betting before the conclusion of the upcoming NFL Season. The launch of the sports betting industry in Florida is expected to take place as early as October 15th, which is just over two months away.