The launch date for sports betting in Florida is still unknown as the NFL season is in Week 6. Florida’s Seminole Tribe is advertising that its sports betting services will come this fall; however, it is unclear what they mean by saying “this fall.” Many speculated that the launch would be this Friday, October 15, and cited regulations that stated that online sports betting cannot be launched sooner than that.
Lawsuits Are Likely The Cause of the Delay
Lawsuits involving the Seminole Tribe and the state of Florida concerning the gambling compact that was approved last spring and is 30 years old leads to speculation that sports betting in the region won’t start until November, at the earliest.
During the football fall season, sports betting is always at its peak and even though online sports betting was launched in several other states, with one of the latest ones being Connecticut, the Seminole Tribe is yet to announce a launching date.
Several Conditions Must Be Filled Before the Launch
Various gambling news sites, including Sports Handle, have stated that the sports betting launch in the state cannot be launched unless some conditions are filled. Those conditions include the process of hiring and training many employees as well as installing new and proper equipment.
Additionally, the law states that the Seminole Tribe must come to terms with a minimum of three Florida pari-mutuel sports betting facilities and form partnerships with them. If it does not fulfill this obligation, the tribe will be required to pay a 2% higher revenue share to the state.
So far, there haven’t been any announcements on Seminole partnerships. On the contrary, two pari-mutuel facilities in South Florida have decided to form lawsuits in order to stop the monopoly and allow them to work with other corporations that focus on sports betting, such as William Hill, FanDuel, and DraftKings, on the condition that it is approved by Florida residents in a future referendum.
The Seminole Tribe has been battling quite a lot of lawsuits recently, and it is extremely busy defending its monopoly on Florida sports betting, which is approved by the state itself. The monopoly wasn’t outrighted but it also wasn’t fully approved by the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, the governing body of Indian gaming.
According to competing Florida interests, under federal law and the Florida Constitution, the tribe’s monopoly is illegal. The Florida Constitution was amended in 2018 and states that all new forms of gambling, except those that are approved by voters, should be outlawed.