Online Gaming Out of the Mix in Florida

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Florida will soon legalize online sports betting. However, online casino gaming is off of the table for now. Gov. Ron DeSantis recently came out with a draft copy of a Florida -Seminole Tribe gambling compact that, if signed, would legalize statewide online casino gaming.

According to the draft copy of the compact, Florida gambling enthusiasts would have been able to play online casino games like blackjack, online poker, and roulette, as well as a myriad of online slots, legally, if they were located within The Sunshine State when they played these games.

However, the possibility that all these types of online gaming might soon become legal in Florida seems to be dead in the water. At least, for now.

Backdoor to Legal Statewide Gambling

On Monday, House Speaker Chris Sprowls said that he talked to the governor who proposed the online gaming provision in the compact, as well as the Florida tribe, and told them to drop any language about online gaming becoming legal in the state.

His main concern regarding the Florida online gaming stipulation was that it would open a “backdoor” to statewide casino gambling in Florida.

Sprowls said that sports betting and fantasy gaming would become legal in The Sunshine State, but that both of these types of wagering will have to wait until October 15 before they go live in the state. Sprowls added that this delay was to ensure that sports betting and fantasy gaming would be launched with all the necessary safeguards to protect players.

If that weren’t the case, sports and fantasy wagering would have started as soon as the US Department of the Interior would have ratified the compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Online Gaming Off of the Table, For Now

However, that delay of a few months is nothing compared to the negative outlook that online gaming now has in Florida. Broward Democrat, Evan Jenne, said that online gaming was “out of the mix”, at least for right now. He added that the people who didn’t want to see online gaming expanding in Florida have got their wish, and a lot of talk about online gaming fell to the side now.

The 30-year compact is one of the most complicated gambling agreements in the US right now. It has a very complex regulatory structure and covers a lot more gambling aspects, especially when compared with other states-tribe compacts signed in the past.

As we already mentioned, the Florida compact stipulates that sports betting and fantasy gaming will become legal for the first time in The Sunshine State. These are illegal outside tribal lands right now.

However, under the new provisions in the compact, it will now be enough that the servers that process the bets are located on tribal land. It is expected that Florida sports betting opponents will challenge this workaround and its constitutionality.

The Seminole Tribe currently operates seven casinos and will be able to launch three additional ones under the new compact. It has thirty years, the life of the agreement, to open them.

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