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Florida legislature takes first step to ratify Seminole betting compact


Florida Senator Travis Hutson has introduced a bill to implement a compact that will allow the Seminole Tribe to launch sports betting.

The compact – agreed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the tribe last month – would allow the tribe to exclusively offer sports betting both at its casinos and online, through partnerships with the state’s pari-mutuel operators.

The tribe will be required to pay 13.75% of income received from players that use a pari-mutuel sports betting operator to the state during each revenue sharing cycle.

The tribe must also pay 10% of income received from sports betting play to the state for those who bet directly at its casinos.

The deal would also allow certain Class III games such as craps and roulette at the tribe’s casinos.

In addition, it includes a provision allowing for the tribe to open negotiations with the state to offer online casino gaming within the next three years.

The compact – including existing parts of the deal that relate to land-based gaming – is estimated to generate a minimum of $2.5bn in revenue in the next five years and $6bn through 2030.

The bill to implement the Compact has been assigned to the Senate’s appropriations committee, which will consider it on Monday (17 May).

If approved by the legislature, the Compact would then need approval from the US Department of the Interior to become law.

Hutson also filed three other gaming-related bills today. One of these will officially create a Florida Gaming Control Commission under the powers of the state Attorney General, one outlines rules for pari-mutuel operators’ permission to host live racing, one authorises bingo – including instant bingo – and one would permit fantasy sports.

An earlier bill to create a new Gaming Commission was introduced last month.