The battle for betting on sports in Florida has DraftKings & FanDuel going on the offense to challenge the Seminoles exclusive contract with the state of Florida. And with so much on the line, everyone is watching. The state and the Tribe entered into an agreement back in May which would bring sports betting to the state. That deal provided the Seminole Tribe the right to offer sports wagering to state residents.
However, the ink wasn’t even dry on that agreement with calls began to go out asking that the Federal Government step in and put an end to the deal. Even the Mayor of Miami Beach said the agreement was corrupted and hijacked by non-tribal interests. An accusation which had the Florida Governor calling the mayor’s accusations idiotic.
Betting on sports became “legal” on October 15th, but with so many questions still lurking in the shadows of courtrooms, not one casino in the state would accept any wagers. Despite the cuation, however, the Tribe did announce that they had entered into sports betting partnerships with five pari-mutuels in the state, including the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Hialeah Park Casino, Ocala Gainesville Poker, Tampa Bay Downs, and TGT Poker & Racebook.
Now, fantasy sports rivals DraftKings & FanDuel have teamed up to combat the agreement, launching a $20 million campaign to put sports betting to a vote in 2022, thus challenging the Seminoles exclusive deal to offer sports wagers. To accomplish this, they need to gather 900,000 signatures on their petition by February of next year in order to add a sports betting amendment to the state ballot.
And while DraftKings & FanDuel are trying to gather signatures, a Judge in the state was throwing out another challenge to the state’s sports betting compact with the Seminoles. Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room had their case dismissed when the judge found they did not have legal standing, as they could not show how they would be harmed. There is another hearing scheduled for this week, and if that case is also dismissed then we may see the launch of Florida sports betting despite the remaining challenges.