According to a new Tampa Bay Times/10News WTSP poll released this week, Tampa Bay, Florida residents are evenly divided on the issue of expanded gambling. The poll which queried over 600 voters in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties showed 11 percent undecided while 45% favored and 44% were opposed to expanded gambling. Interestingly, 64% wanted Daily Fantasy Sports to continue as is or with regulation, while only 18% would like to see the pastime banned.

Demographics related to the polled voters showed that the a majority of the younger crowd with a preference was more in favor of expanded gambling while most of those over 55 years of age were opposed. Bare majorities of 51% went to men favoring and women opposing.

Florida news has been fairly inundated with gambling issues over the last years with the most widely reported issue being the expiration of the Seminole Tribe‘s gambling compact with the state, and the subsequent new agreement reached with Gov. Rick Scott recently. The new agreement gives the tribe 20 years to share increased revenue with state and lets them expand their table game offerings from blackjack alone to craps and roulette. The deal has yet to be approved by both houses of lawmakers, who are scheduled to convene the new year in Tallahassee on January 12th.

Pundits and analysts have predicted the agreement is anything but a slam dunk deal as it upsets current balances and prohibitions while opening up slots gaming at a Palm Beach dog track, opens blackjack gaming at existing tracks in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and allows a new casino in Miami-Dade. Disney and resort owners are against the agreement. Others note that a provision in the agreement that would “decouple” horse racing from gambling offerings would be a death knell for live racing in the state, as an active racetrack would no longer be a requirement for offering some gambling games.




One Response

  1. Steven Norton

    Fantasy Sports is very popular with the public, and irregardless of whether it is skill or chance, there can be no question that it is gambling. And as such, it should be approved and overseen by each state and pay a tax, like sports betting in Las Vegas. Ideally these games could be tied into legal casinos or racinos, and would gain a larger audience as more and more states approve online wagering. State laws that cover skill betting and gambling in general, vary greatly, and are currently being reviewed. But the future salvation of Draft Kings and Fan Duel, who have invested millions in advertising their product, is very much in question. Considering that major sports leagues and their individual teams have invested heavily in Fantasy Sports, they have a vested interest in saving these popular games. And if they become part of legal casino gaming, them we may be closer to finding a way for the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball to come to terms with sports betting on real games, and direct a kayo punch to the multi $billion illegal sports betting. The best chance of Fantasy Sports surviving, if it is adopted in states like New Jersey, that has suitable gaming oversight plus Online wagering, that would allow the games to be played from home, as they are today.


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