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Florida Lawmakers Approve 30 Year Gambling Deal

A hand lifts the edge of two cards on a green felt gambling table with gambling chips in the background
Michał Parzuchowski
Florida Lawmakers Approve 30 Year Gambling Deal

Florida lawmakers have signed off on a gambling agreement between the state and the Seminole tribe. Next, the deal must get approval from the federal government. House Speaker Chris Sprowls says he also expects to see lawsuits surrounding the deal—especially a piece that lets the tribe fun sports betting in the state.

“If it is litigated, let’s assume that the federal court says that’s not a valid way to do it," Sprowls says. "So that part is now severed from the compact Floridians get the benefit of the bargain under the compact and just lose the $50-million for sports betting.”

Sprowls says it still comes out as a good deal for Floridians.

The group No Casinos has already indicated plans to file a lawsuit to fight the agreement. The group says the deal violates an amendment Florida voters passed in 2018 that requires voter approval for gambling expansion. The amendment doesn’t apply to gambling that happens on tribe land.

That leaves sports betting in a gray area. The plan is to use what officials are calling a "hub and spoke" system. Servers used for sports betting will be located on tribe property, but participants could be anywhere.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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