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Can Florida – Seminole Tribe Online Gambling Agreement Be Successful?

  • Florida reaches new gambling agreement with Seminole Tribe
  • The deal includes legalised sports betting operated by the Tribe
  • We discuss the Seminole Tribe online gambling agreement's potential for success

Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has recently reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe. As a result, a suggested extension of gambling in the state is right on the corner. We discuss the agreement, and how the Seminole Tribe agreement would affect online gambling in Florida. 

Will Gov. Ron DeSantis finally bring online sports betting to Florida? The state has had multiple previous attempts to deliver a deal with the Tribe, now it looks like the agreement can finally be successful. The 30-year contract between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe has to be considered by the Legislature first. The session will take place on May 17. In this article, we break down the details of the new agreement, online gambling, and the Seminole Tribe.

Online gambling in Florida

Online gambling in the US varies state-wise, yet over half of the states have legalized sports betting options. In some cases, gambling can only take place in tribal casinos. In our previous article, we discussed the case of Washington and the Tulalip Tribe. According to Wink news, the Seminole Tribe – Florida deal could generate about $2.5 billion in revenue over the next five years and $6 billion by 2030. The situation so far has been kind of a grey area. Land-based gambling has been legal in Florida since 2004. However, online gambling was not legal and players could only access sites and games through out-of-state websites without breaking Florida’s gambling laws.

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What is in the new agreement?

The new “compact” allows the Seminole Tribe to offer statewide online sports betting in partnership with the state’s pari-mutuel facilities. This includes poker cardrooms, horse racing tracks, and jai-alai arenas (Source: Sun-sentinel). The tribe will also introduce craps and roulette at its casinos, including the popular Hard Rock Casino near Fort Lauderdale. Floridians would have to be at least 21 years old to bet on sports under the agreement’s terms. Bets could be placed on the collegiate and professional sporting events, motorsports, and Olympic contests.

File:Flag of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.PNG
Seminole flag – Image via Wikimedia

Online gambling and the Seminole Tribe

Under Florida’s framework, all sports bets would be routed through the Seminole Tribe. Already existing casinos could offer their own sports betting mobile apps according to the deal. This would be executed in partnership with the Seminole Tribe, keeping 60% of the revenue of the bets. In terms of online gambling, the Tribe would also be able to contract with other online sports betting companies like  Intertops.

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Can the Seminole Tribe agreement be successful in terms of online gambling?

According to the deal, the agreement would include two online licenses. The Seminole Tribe would run both of them, and one would be the tribe’s brand. While regulated online sports betting is great news in terms of customer protection and legality, there are concerns about the two-skin agreement. Industry analysts worry about a market with such limits. Betting options would still be very much limited, and decrease competitiveness. This could include the number of promotions and bonuses online gambling sites would offer. As a result, the risk of potential customers turning back to the unsafe black market of gambling is prevalent.  While land-based betting is still relevant, we have to keep in mind that online and mobile betting makes up 80% of the betting handles in most mature betting markets in this day and age.

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