FL Sen. Talks Potential Florida Sports Betting Legalization

By  //  January 12, 2021

The 2021 legislative session to make sports betting legal in Florida was pre-filed by Senator Jeffen Brandes (R-St.-Petersburg).

Sports betting in Florida remains for advocates an elusive dream. Although debates take place in most states during public legislative hearings, negotiations for sports betting occur almost exclusively behind the scenes in Florida.

Any sports betting deal in Florida needs to be reached as part of a broader compact game between the state and the Seminole Tribe.

During the last two legislative sessions, lawmakers and tribal leaders discussed a deal to resume tribal gaming payments to the state in exchange for the exemption for sports wets and other tribal casino concessions.

Brandes has pushed the legislation to try to give Florida a legalized sports wagering industry before now. Still, prior attempts to do this have been unsuccessful. Persistence is, however, crucial to success in life, which is why Brandes has introduced Senate Bill 392 to be heard by the Florida Legislature at its meeting in March.

Insight Into likely Florida Legal Sports Wagering

Senator Brandes sat down to discuss the FL SB 392 in a recent interview and addressed why Sunshine State wants a legal market for wagering sports.  With over half of the country signing their own sports gaming industry into law, Brandes thinks it’s time to get the same for Florida.

Of course, suppose history is any indication; in that case, some people oppose legalization, particularly the Florida Seminole Tribe, who in previous sessions were opposed to the proposal.

The Florida Lottery will be the governing body to regulate the market for sporting games in the state. Brandes claims this will ensure a seamless transition into a new part of the game, as the lottery already works like an oiled machine and has a new method of gambling.

Senator Jeffen  says, “We have a chance to make legal sports bets through the lottery here. There is no explanation, to my understanding, that we should do so through the tribe and hence hold it in the house. I  think the chance should go in the house if the options are in-house or with the tribe.”

In the bill, the door remains open to unlimited numbers of operators and locations where sports betting might happen in Florida.

No real predictions are made as to how much the state will profit from a legal sports betting industry.

Brandes said that a more thorough study would be required each year to understand what comparable states the size of Florida produce, but he estimates that the revenue from a sports games industry will be generated annually by tens of million dollars.

Senate bill 392 is designed to allow for betting on both professional and college sports.

According to Brandes, exclusion from college sports would lead to the use of mobile offshore betting sites by Florida sports wagerers, which would negate the intent of a legal market for wagering sports in the state.

When is it going to start Florida online sports betting?

There is reason to think the legalization of sport betting in the Sunshine State could be made in 2021. Possibly 2022 will be the earliest sporting bet in Florida.

The ability to wager online via mobile betting apps in Florida can potentially include this.

Sen. Wilton Simpson is really competitive at the Seminoles and is becoming the Chairman of the Senate. In 2019 he reached a timely settlement with the tribe before Ron DeSantis declined to sign the deal.

DeSantis is, however, willing to engage further in the negotiations. He said he would like the full gambling agreement to be made.