The Seminole Tribe is currently in talks with state legislators to draft proposals on regulating mobile sports betting in the Sunshine State. The fallout from COVID-19 has devastated economic activity and led to widespread unemployment across Florida. In an attempt to make up the budget shortfalls, Florida legislators are eyeing out-of-the-box proposals such as regulated online betting activity.
This unprecedented move for Florida was made possible by the state of New Jersey which pushed to get PASPA of 1992 overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. New Jersey is one of a few states in the USA that allows online gambling to legal-aged players. Online-casinos-nj.com lists the state's legal online casinos which have set the benchmark for other states, including Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and others.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida owns and operates the hugely successful Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. As lawmakers continue to work feverishly on crafting a budget for 2020/2021, unforeseen expenses and the shuttering of non-essential economic activity has ramped up financial pressures on state coffers. According to the New York Times, there are currently over 36,000+ cases of coronavirus in Florida, with 1,378+ deaths, and rising.
Heading into May 2020, Florida received an estimated 2 million claims and has processed just a third of them – the slowest in the US. This has spurred calls to fast-track online gaming legislation with the Seminole Tribe. If projections are correct, the legislation could generate returns of $500 million for Florida in inception year, followed by at least $700 million per annum thereafter.
New Jersey has successfully implemented legal online betting and legal online gaming across the state, with significant year-on-year returns being generated. There have been certain hurdles to legal online gaming in Florida, notably a variety of opposing interests and amendments to the constitution.
Nonetheless, it has widely been reported that the Seminole Tribe will be paying the $500 million for the first year and the $700 million every year thereafter to the state of Florida for exclusivity vis-a-vis online sports betting services.
Lawmakers hope that legislation permitting mobile sports betting can mitigate the effects of severe budget shortfalls that are currently being experienced. Back in 2018, Florida voters decided by a margin of 71%-29% that they will have the final say on any further gambling expansion a.k.a. Amendment 3.
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