If Sports Betting Is Going To Happen In Florida, It’s Going To Have To Come Via Seminole Hard Rock

Florida voters just made it more challenging to change its legislation regarding gaming. What does that mean to the future of sports gambling in the state?
Florida and Amendment 3
On election night, since most of the country was watching to see if there was going to be an ideological change in Congress, many in the gaming industry were watching a different race in Florida.
This race didn’t entail the election of an individual; the race was for Florida Amendment 3, a ballot measure that could shift the power from legislators to voters to authorize new casino gaming in the nation.
The language of the step was as follows:
“This amendment ensures that Florida voters shall have the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gaming to be approved under Florida law, it has to be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gambling and clarifies that this amendment does not conflict with federal legislation regarding state/tribal compacts.”
Where did the gambling amendment come from?
Only two counties in Florida allow for”card games, casino games, and slot machines” in non-tribal owned facilities.
In 2004, ahead of the current tribal compacts, under the opinion of then-Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida voters in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties handed a ballot initiative which allowed for slot machines in racing and jai-alai centers, which had operated in the two years prior.
The change effectively means that in order for the nation to expand casino gambling past the tribal casinos and existing racing and pari-mutuel facilities, voters in Florida would need to initiate the procedure by collecting enough signatures to get the request added to a ballot.
“In Florida, the number of signatures required to get an initiative is equivalent to 8 percent of the votes cast in the preceding presidential elections. Florida also includes a touch supply requirement, which requires that signatures equivalent to 8 percent of their district-wide vote in at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts must be gathered.”
For reference, the 2016 Presidential election had 9,419,886 votes cast. Eight percent of this vote total is 753,591 signatures required to be able to get a casino expansion step on a future ballot. This is an intimidating endeavor, without thinking about the need for geographic distribution, which can be required.
There are, though, a couple of Florida-based groups that may be able to back a campaign of adequate size to collect these votes at one time later on. Two which come into mind are Disney and the Seminole Tribe. Really, the two Disney and the Seminoles were major backers for departure Amendment 3, supposedly putting in tens of millions of dollars to support the measure’s passage.
The resistance saw assistance from smaller gambling providers including West Flagler Associates and Hialeah Park, as well as the Miami Dolphins, that (in)famously tweeted an image that implied that the passage of Amendment 3″would block any opportunity for lawful sports gambling from Florida.”
In the event the language of Amendment 3 seems complicated, that’s because it is. The language used in the Amendment scored a grade-level rank of 24 (the equivalent of getting 24 years of formal schooling or sufficient time to make a Ph.D.) based on Ballotpedia, which ranks the readability of ballot measures. Amendment 3 has been worded more complexly than many others, with the average ballot scoring between 19-20.
It does not take a Ph.D. to realize that the Amendment does not mention sports. So, does that imply that Florida can launch sports betting shortly?
Not really.
What’s’casino gambling’?
In accordance with Ballotpedia, Amendment 3 defines casino gambling as card games, casino games and slot machines. There’s absolutely no mention of sports betting. Therefore, while it may seem that Amendment 3 leaves open the question of whether Florida can offer sports betting, it neglects the much larger issue, the fact that the State of Florida has a Class III gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe.
Sports gambling is Class III gambling based on this Federal Register:
Class III gaming means all forms of gaming That Aren’t class I gaming or class II gaming, including but not limited to:
(a) Any home banking game, including but not limited to —
(1) Card games such as baccarat, chemin de fer, blackjack (21), and pai gow (if played as house banking matches );
(2) Casino games such as roulette, craps, and keno;
(b) Any slot machines as described in 15 U.S.C. 1171(a)(1) and electronic or electromechanical facsimiles of any game of chance;
(c) Any sports betting and parimutuel wagering such as but not Limited to wagering on horse racing, dog racing or jai alai; or
(d) Lotteries.
While Amendment 3 doesn’t limit sports betting, the existing compact involving the Seminole Tribe and the State of Florida may impose some restrictions.
What’s from the Florida gaming compact?
The Compact, which was signed in 2010 involving the Seminole Tribe and the state (it had been amended in 2015 to add authorization for additional games), said:
“It’s in the best interests of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida for the State to enter into a compact with the Tribe that acknowledges that the Tribe’s right to offer certain Class III gambling and supplies substantial exclusivity of such actions along with a reasonable revenue sharing agreement between the Tribe and the State that will entitle the State to important earnings participation.”
In the”Covered Games” part of this compact, there is no mention of sports betting, but There’s a statement that would seem to cover sports gambling as within the covered games segment:
“Any fresh game approved by Florida law for any individual for any use, except for banked card games authorized for any other federally recognized tribe pursuant to [the] Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, assuming that the tribe has land in federal trust in the State as of February 1, 2010.”
The tribe and the state agreed that the”Tribe is authorized to run Covered Games on Indian Lands….” While Part IV of the compact excludes a number of games such as roulette and craps (which were subsequently allowed) there is no mention of sports betting, as explicitly excluded.
The compact identifies seven Seminole-owned casinos that could be enlarged or replaced but doesn’t authorize new construction outside the present lands. In addition to abiding by state-sanctioned gaming rules, the tribe, in exchange for”tight but substantial exclusivity,” agreed to cover:
$12.5 million per month during the initial 24 weeks of the arrangement;
After that, 12 percentage of net wins on all sums up to $2 billion;
15 percent on internet wins between $2 and $3 billion;
17.5 percent on internet wins between $3 billion and $3.5 billion;
Up to 25 percent on all levels larger than $4.5 billion per revenue sharing cycle.
These payments are due on the 15th of every month for twenty five years by the initiation of the compact.
What about online gambling?
For those expecting for internet gaming, there is a clause in the streamlined that says : if the state law is altered to offer online gambling and tribal gaming revenue falls over five percent in the past twelve monthsthe tribe has to considerably reduce their payments to the country under the bonded minimums. However this won’t apply if the tribe provides online gambling, subject to express authorization.
In case the Seminole Tribe loses exclusivity, the state of Florida will be looking for a new source of earnings. Part XII Section A. of the Compact states:
“If, after February 1, 2010, Florida legislation is amended by action of the Florida Legislature or an amendment to the Florida Constitution to permit (1) the performance of Class III gaming or other casino-style gambling at any location under the jurisdiction of the State that was not in operation as of February 1, 2010, or (2) new forms of Class III gambling or alternative casino-style gaming which were not in operation at February 1, 2010.”
Should this happen, the tribe is eligible to stop some of their payments until such gambling is no longer operated. Similarly, if existing non-tribal facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties expand their Class III offerings, the Seminole Tribe can decrease some of their payments to the country as well.
So, about sports gambling…
It’s unlikely that Florida will see sports betting being offered by any entity apart from the Seminole Tribe.
The gaming compact negotiated between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida is rewarding for the nation and extremely beneficial for the tribe. For an overview of how rewarding this compact is to get the State of Florida at 2016, the Seminole Tribe paid over $300 million into the state. The chance that Florida would endanger even a portion of those payments to authorize something that would create as little extra state revenue as sports betting is extremely unlikely.
While Florida sports betting fans shouldn’t hold their breath for widespread legal sports betting, the Seminole Tribe can, under the streamlined, get the capability to offer it in their seven casinos. While the Seminole Tribe has expressed an interest in being able to offer sports betting at its Florida Hard Rock possessions, they have been quiet on the issue within the state of Florida.
Amendment 3 didn’t foreclose on any expectation of sports gambling in Florida. But under the existing gaming compact provisions, it would seem to be a costly endeavor for state lawmakers to allow someone aside from the Seminole Tribe to offer it exclusively, a decision that would surely leave facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties unhappy.

Read more: montanayouthrugby.org

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