Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are expected to announce a new sports betting deal very soon, according to Florida Politics.
A spokesperson for the Tribe told the Miami Herald that negotiations were ongoing and did not confirm any deal had yet been reached. But, sources tell the newspaper the legal framework for the proposal is in the process of being finalized – with an announcement possibly coming as soon as the end of the week.
Florida Politics says the gaming compact – which would give the Tribe exclusive statewide authorization to offer sports betting – would generate about $500 million a year in revenue for the state. As the publication explains, that's far above the roughly $350 million the Tribe had been paying Florida annually under the previous deal.
According to Florida Politics, this fresh deal would end disagreements that had been ongoing about what games were allowed at state pari-mutuel sites. The proposal would reportedly let such facilities keep offering designated player games, and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino would have exclusive rights to offer craps and roulette at its seven casinos.
As the Miami Herald explains, such a proposal would help prop up the state's ailing pari-mutuel industry by paving the way for mobile sports betting at already-existing locations in exchange for a portion of the proceeds.
The updated deal could theoretically let Florida leaders circumvent a 2018 constitutional amendment that gave voters power to approve gaming expansions in the state, according to Florida Politics. By giving control to the sovereign tribal nation, Florida may be able to skirt that roadblock.
It's unclear whether state lawmakers in the House and Senate would approve a new sports betting deal, but Senate President Wilton Simpson hinted to Florida Politics he would consider a special legislative session if necessary since the current session ends this month.
10 Tampa Bay has reached out to both Gov. DeSantis' office and the Seminole Tribe of Florida for comment on this story. We will update it if we hear back.
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