Florida Gov. DeSantis Approves Seminole Gaming Compact

In April, Gov. DeSantis had worked out a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This compact was approved by the Florida House and Senate last week. Now the compact is waiting for approval from the US Department of the Interior.

The compact has a provision for the expansion of the gambling operations of the Seminole Tribe; they will be allowed to introduce sports wagering and also add roulette and craps to their casino. DeSantis believes that the provisions of this compact can add nearly $20 billion to Florida’s income over the next 30 years. But there is still a lot of opposition to the compact. Democrats are of the opinion that the compact is a violation of a 2018 constitutional amendment. Amendment 3 had a stipulation that no extension of gambling outside tribe lands could be implemented without voter approval.

Opponents of the compact believe that since players will be able to place bets from outside the tribal lands, it is a violation of amendment 3. But lawmakers supporting the compact argue that since all servers for online betting will be placed inside tribal lands, there will be no actual violation. This Seminole Tribe compact was envisioned after a Supreme Court judgment in 2018 that removed the USA's earlier decades-long ban on sports betting. Since then, many states have passed bills to increase the gambling facilities in their State.

Governor DeSantis has approved another bill that will create a gaming commission in Florida to regulate the operations of pari-mutuels and monitor any illegal gambling practices in the State. DeSantis is also approving other bills to allow dog tracks, jai alai frontons, and harness racing tracks to operate card rooms and slots. These all suggest the general mood in the Florida legislature for the expansion of gambling amenities in the State. But there are still many legal challenges that the Seminole Tribe gaming compact must overcome before it can be implemented with federal approval.

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