A compact that would allow Florida’s Seminole Tribe to offer sports betting in the US state has been approved by the state’s Senate.
Florida’s Senate passed Senate Bill 2-A yesterday (May 18) by a vote of 38-1, clearing the way for it to move into the House for further discussion.
Announced in late April, the compact would exclusively permit the Seminole Tribe to run sports betting in Florida, with permission to partner with the state’s pari-mutuel operators.
Florida Senator Travis Hutson introduced a bill to implement the compact last week, but this was met with some concern from lawmakers over a provision related to online casino.
The original version of the compact stated that the state and tribe would “engage in good faith negotiations” within the next three years to allow the tribe to offer online casino gaming.
In a special session, House Speaker Chris Sprowls said he and many other members of the house opposed this section of the compact, saying it could lead to a “backdoor expansion” of online gaming on Florida.
Sprowls, Rules Committee chair Paul Renner and gaming committee chair Randy Fine took part in further negotiations with the tribe to produce an amended version of the compact.
It was agreed that the online casino clause be removed from the compact, shortly after which the Senate voted to approve the bill.
The House is still considering the bill, but if approved it would then go to the Department of the Interior to be ratified.