The governor for the southern American state of Florida, Ron DeSantis (pictured), has reportedly put his signature to a new gaming compact that is to allow the Seminole Tribe of Florida to begin operating land-based sportsbetting facilities.
According to a Wednesday report from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, the move from the Republican comes a week after the measure was overwhelmingly approved by the Florida State Senate and Florida House of Representatives following an over two-year impasse with the federally-recognized tribe. The deal will also purportedly give the Seminole Tribe of Florida an inaugural statewide monopoly on the operation of roulette and craps while allowing it to construct and run up to three new casinos.
The newspaper reported that DeSantis helped to craft the new gaming compact, which does not include a mobile or online sportsbetting component, and hopes that it will allow his state to collect as much as $2.5 billion in added tax revenues before the end of 2026. The 42-year-old governor purportedly moreover revealed that the 30-year arrangement must now be approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission before the expiration of a 45-day deadline although the Seminole Tribe of Florida is to be forbidden from launching sports wagering operations before October 15.
More than 20 American states have authorized some form of sportsbetting following the 2018 invalidation of the nationwide prohibition contained within the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) while DeSantis reportedly disclosed that the new gaming compact obliges the Seminole Tribe of Florida to contract with at least a trio of independent parimutuel operators within three months of premiering its sports wagering services.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the fresh gaming compact is set to replace a 2010 deal that gave the Seminole Tribe of Florida a statewide monopoly on ‘banked’ casino games such as blackjack. However, the tribe purportedly stopped honoring the revenue-sharing element of this arrangement in 2019 over a disagreement related to the intended scope of its domination to leave the state missing out on roughly $350 million in annual tax payments.
In related news and DeSantis reportedly furthermore put his name to a piece of unconnected legislation earlier this week that is to create the Florida Gaming Control Commission. The five members of this regulatory body are to purportedly be appointed by the governor for ‘The Sunshine State’ but have their four-year terms subject to legislative confirmation.
Finally, the newspaper reported that the Jacksonville-born governor additionally approved a measure late on Tuesday evening that could put an end to most live horseracing and jai alai games in Florida. His support for Senate Bill 8-A would purportedly allow parimutuel operators to ‘de-couple’ from the state’s tracks and jai alai frontons while remaining in business potentially in partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.