Ron DeSantis Reaches Deal In Historic Act

( Sports betting got the green light in Florida last Friday after Governor Ron DeSantis reached an agreement with Florida’s Seminole Tribe.

The Seminoles already run gambling operations in Florida – mostly in the form of slot machines, poker, blackjack, and of course high-stakes bingo.

Friday’s agreement will allow the tribe to expand operations at their seven casinos to include craps and roulette. Plus it will allow sports gambling at their casinos in South Florida and near Tampa.

In return for the expanded gambling operations, the state of Florida would receive at least $2.5 billion from the tribe over the first five years and at least $6 billion by 2030.

It will also create jobs.

In a statement on Friday, Governor DeSantis said he expects this agreement with the Seminoles will create 2,200 new jobs for Florida.

The deal must still be approved by the Legislature, the Seminole tribal council and the US Department of the Interior.

However, not everybody is happy about the agreement. A group of business owners are looking to kill it in the legislature — claiming the expansion of gambling would be detrimental to South Florida.

According to the group’s leader, Miami billionaire Norman Braman, if they fail to stop it in the Legislature, they will challenge the agreement in court. Braman believes that this agreement between the State and the Seminoles violates a 2018 initiative that prohibits the expansion of gambling off tribal lands unless it receives 60% on a statewide ballot measure.

“Tallahassee wants to override the wishes of the local community,” Braman said.

While it is unclear if there is strong opposition in the Legislature, there is concern that because Florida’s population tends to be more conservative and religious, there may be public opposition to the plan.

In a letter to his members on Friday, Senate President Wilton Simpson acknowledged the differing opinions and beliefs surrounding gambling among constituents. Adding “The fact remains, Florida has a significant gaming footprint, and I think if we are going to regulate these activities, it should be within a structure that is fair and equitable to all parties.”