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Florida Governor Signs Tribal Gaming Compact into Law

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has assented to a series of gambling related bills okayed by the state’s legislators earlier this month.

Among the measures approved by DeSantis is Senate Bill 2-A, which legalizes a Gaming Compact deal signed by the Governor and the Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida Marcellus Osceola Jr. on April 23.

The deal gives the Seminoles exclusive rights to offer mobile and in-person sports betting in the Sunshine State for a period of 30 years. The physical sportsbooks will be located at the six casinos owned by the tribe, and the operator will be allowed to open three more venues in South Florida. The law also allows the Seminole Tribe to add fantasy sports contests, dice games like Sic Bo and Craps, and Roulette to their offering.

The Compact will now advance to the United States Secretary of Interior for approval. The Department will have up to 45 days from the day of submission to sign off or veto the deal. If ratified, the Seminole Tribe will have the green light to rollout regulated sports wagering on or after October 15.

The market will be legal for all Floridians and visitors who are 21 years or older.

What’s In It for the State?

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Issuing a statement regarding the new tribal-state Compact, Governor DeSantis has praised the agreement, saying that it will create the framework to raise billions in new revenue and bring “untold waves of positive economic impact’’ to the state.

He also said that the agreement will lead to expansion in economic opportunity, tourism, and recreation, as well as boost the financial success of the state and Seminoles alike.

If the Compact is signed off by the U.S. Secretary of Interior, the state will receive $2.5 billion from the tribe over the next five years and between $400 and $500 million in annual revenue through 2051.

Tribe to Contract Pari-Mutuel Operators for FL Sports Betting

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Besides granting the Seminoles exclusive rights to operate sports betting in FL, the new agreement also authorizes the tribe to contract at least three qualified pari-mutuel operators for the offering.  

As outlined in the Compact, the Seminoles can partner with licensed pari-mutuel betting operators for branding and marketing purposes. The contracted permit holders will be allowed to set aside areas within their facilities where patrons can place wagers with the tribe’s sportsbook. In return, the pari-mutuel venues will receive 60% of the net wins generated by these customers.

Another clause in the Compact further requires the Seminoles to pay 13.75% of the revenue generated from wagers placed from pari-mutuel facilities to the state. The tax rate for bets placed directly from the tribe’s casinos will be 10% of the revenue.

Contracts between the tribe and pari-mutuel operators will not be less than 5 five years unless terminated by the two parties through a mutual agreement. 

More Details about the Compact

The Gaming Compact between the Seminoles and Florida Governor will also allow cardroom operators to offer approved poker games across the state. The number of poker tables in a venue will be limited to 10 in counties that allow slot machine gaming and 30 where the activity is prohibited.

The agreement further establishes the framework for player registration and identification, geo-fencing, and independent testing of slot machines to ensure fairness. 

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