On April 23, 2021, Florida Governor Ron Desantis and the Seminole Tribe signed a new deal. If approved, it could lead to the largest gambling expansion in the Sunshine State.
The new compact terms allow the Seminole Tribe to offer Class III gambling. This includes craps, roulette, and sports betting online in their land-based casinos. The Tribe will also be allowed to build at most three new casinos on sovereign lands.
If the compact terms are passed, the Tribe will offer sports betting in their six casinos in the country. They will offer online sports gambling through providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings.
The chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Marcellus Osceola Jr., said that the agreement would be historic. He added that it would cement its relationship with the state for decades.
The state legislature needs to approve the said compact deal. After, the governor will sign the official document before sending it to the US Department of the Interior for the last authorization. But, several legislatures still believe that Floridians have a say in the matter and must be engaged.
Will Floridians Have a Say in the Matter?
Following the governor’s and the Tribe’s announcement about gaming expansion, many people criticized the issue. In 2018, Floridians amended and passed into law that citizens had to approve all gambling expansions in the state. The anti-gambling campaigners suggest that the new deal between the governor and the Tribe violates the 2018 vote.
Critics are questioning the validity of internet gambling, saying it is gambling expansion. The state’s law outlines that Class III gaming, including slots, table games, and sports wagering, can only happen on Seminole‘s sovereign land.
According to opponents, sports wagering online will be violating the state’s law. Yet, proponents insist that sports betting servers will be located on sovereign land, thus not going against any law.
According to a poll conducted recently by Jim McLaughlin and Rob Schmidt, 608 of 800 surveyed voters believe they have the final say on internet sports betting and the whole Class III compact. The president of No Casinos, John Sowinski, declared that voters had spoken loud and clear when they voted in 2018 to put gambling expansion in Florida in their hands. The new poll also suggests that these voters still believe in their decision and feel the Tribe and the governor violate their decisions.
The Governor Defends His Decision
Rob Schmidt and Jim Mclaughlin said that most Floridians were concerned about the state’s authority to allow online sports betting. The two explained that most voters believed the compact gaming bases the aspect that computer system hub hosting online gambling platforms on tribal properties do not qualify as gambling expansion.
The governor defended his move by claiming that residents were delaying the inevitable. Desantis said that online sports wagering was already operational in the state. He illustrated that unlawful offshore sites continue to allow players from Florida.
The governor said that the Tribe would run online sports betting on tribal lands. He indicated that this satisfied amendment 3. He dared anyone with a problem about the decision to contest it and promised that the Tribe and the state were ready to defend the agreement.
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