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Florida approved gaming compact but stripped off online casino

Florida’s legislature signed off on a compact that allows the Seminole Tribe to offer sports betting in the state, including more power over gambling but stripped its online gaming components.

Compact amended

The Florida House gave final approval (97-17) on Wednesday during a special session to a compact that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis struck with the Seminole Tribe last April.

The deal states that the tribe must pay Florida state a minimum of $2.5 billion (£2.9billion) over the next five years. In addition, they should share part of their annual gaming revenue that is expected to exceed $500 million a year.

While the original version of the compact stated that the state and tribe would engage in negotiations to allow the tribe to offer online casino gaming, it was finally agreed that the online casino clause has to be removed from the compact.

“In my discussions with our [legislative] members, I realised many shared the same concern as — that some language in the compact could be construed to lead to the backdoor expansion of online gaming”, said House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

Major step for sports betting

The Tribe has operated gaming facilities in Florida for years, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and several casinos. But this new deal would exclusively permit the Seminole Tribe to offer new gambling options including craps, roulette, online sports betting, and fantasy sports, with permission to partner with the state’s pari-mutuel operators.

Seminole has already informed Florida’s lawmakers that they were in discussions with several leading sportsbook providers, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Barstool Sports.

Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and the tribe’s Hard Rock International brand, adding that the tribe is interested in creating relationships with each of those sportsbooks.

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