Florida and the Seminole Tribe announced a 30-year gambling agreement on Friday after years of failed negotiations between the parties involved. The agreement clears the way for sports betting in the state and for craps and roulette in tribal casinos.
The deal will see the Seminoles make annual payments of at least $ 500 million to the state for the first five years and contribute billions of dollars more to Florida’s economy during his tenure.
Governor Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe President Marcellus Osceola Jr. met Friday to sign the agreement.
Under the terms of the new agreement signed, the Seminoles would be allowed offer sports betting at its seven Florida casinos, as well as online, and license state mutuals to bet on different sports for a portion of their income.
I’m excited to announce the signing of a new compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which will generate the state $ 2.5 billion in new revenue over the next five years and $ 6 billion through 2030. https: // t .co / 6za6I0TmFz pic.twitter.com/uLV1YmsRkl
– Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 23, 2021
Additionally, the deal allows the tribe to add dice and roulette to the table game offering at its gaming establishments. Until now, tribal casinos only offered blackjack.
Under the original agreement between the Seminoles and the state, which was signed in 2010, the tribe was granted exclusive rights to blackjack in exchange for a portion of its annual income. When that first agreement expired in 2015, tribal leaders argued that the state had violated its provisions by allowing mutual bets to offer so-called designated player games.
Contentious games, which according to the Seminoles closely resembled blackjack and therefore violated their exclusivity over the game, were a stumbling block in negotiations about a new deal for the past six years.
Mutual bets would now be allowed to continue offering the games as long as their offering is limited to “their current presence” with no future expansions.
How would sports bets be taxed?
The new deal would eventually bring sports betting to the third most populous state in the US However, it should be noted that the deal needs approval from the state Senate and House and the US Department of the Interior.
Both Houses of the Florida Legislature will consider the agreement in a special session which will begin on May 17th. Governor DeSantis said Friday that he expects legal sports betting to be ready for the summer.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Seminole tribe would have to pay at least $ 500 million a year over the next five years to the state in exchange for the right to expand its board game offering. Also, the tribe’s income from sports betting would be taxed at 13.75%.
State mutual bets they would keep 60% of their gambling income and would pay the remaining 40% to the tribe. The Seminoles would share with the state 10% of the revenue generated by mutual gambling.
And while the new deal has been greeted as big news by many, sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach cautioned that the initial enthusiasm could be premature as “Undoubtedly there will be a litigation” on the legalization of the practice and that there is a “relatively high probability that this sports betting framework will be overturned by a federal court.”
According to him, there is a serious risk for sports betting in the state, even though the bets would be placed on servers located on tribal lands. According to a constitutional amendment that Florida voters approved in the fall of 2018, any expansion of casino games requires a statewide referendum.
Governor DeSantis said Friday that “both the tribe and the state vigorously defend the agreement”, If challenged in court.
Fountain: Florida Signs New Gaming Agreement with Seminole Tribe, Wink News, April 23, 2021