DORAL, FL – For the last couple of weeks, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been involved in the negotiations on sports betting in the state with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Sources and lobbyists involved in the negotiations, scheduled to end on April 30 when Florida’s 60-day legislative session is due, say a gambling deal is about to be reached, which would ultimately bring sports betting to the sunshine state.
If an agreement goes through and the Florida Legislature approves it, Florida could become the third largest state in the U.S. to allow this practice at casinos run by the Seminole Tribe of Florida as well as at smaller gambling facilities, sources told Politico.
This would mean a major goal to the DeSantis’s administration that its predecessor, Gov. Rick Scott, couldn’t achieve. In addition, Florida would receive unexpected new revenue.
But opinions on the matter are divided with some saying a vote isn’t imminent, as a lobbyist representing a key player in the negotiations told the South Florida Sun Suntinel. Meanwhile, other sources have informed the media that a deal could be reached as soon as next week. But not without trouble.
“I’d bet it will be vetted a little more thoroughly,” said the anonymous lobbyist. “Lots of complicated moving parts. Likely an interim committee and next session issue in my opinion.”
The agreement could also be shadowed by gambling opponents. The No Casinos anti-gambling group says the Legislature does not have the power to approves sports betting.
In 2019, the Seminole Tribe quit a long date revenue-sharing agreement it had with the state, which used to grant the tribe exclusivity on blackjack and other banked card games at its casinos. This has affected severely the Seminole’s revenue.
Meanwhile, in Doral, last month it was announced Trump’s family sent a proposal to turn Trump National Doral into a gambling hub. This too is another legal issue pending for discussion and approval.