Sen. Jeff Brandes has submitted a sports betting bill that will be considered by lawmakers next year. The move will usher in US’s third-largest state into the betting world. According to the State Senator, the activity will be a means of growing education revenue.
Brandes presented a number of bills in this regard. First was the SB 968 which will directly influence sports betting in Florida. The second bill he introduced was the SB 70 which will cater for sports betting licensing and fees collection in the state.
And lastly was the SB 972 which is the third bill in line and will contain legislation on taxes. SB 972 entails sports revenue betting to be channeled to Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
According to Casino.org, the Department of Lottery in Florida will operate under SB 968. Operators interested in the business will have to pay up $100,000 for permit fees as well as a 50/50 revenue share with the state.
The proposed bill also deliberated that licensees and departments could only accept wagers from players who are 21 years of age and above. These players are to only place their bets via a licensee’s website or a department’s self-service kiosk.
Florida lawmakers had earlier on pushed for legislation to allow the Seminole tribe to provide sports betting in the state. The betting was to be offered at Hard Rock casinos throughout Florida.
Parimutuel operators would also be allowed to offer sports betting kiosks under the same legislation. From these kiosks, the tribe would have had a share in the revenue.
The legislation was however stalled after a revenue-splitting pact between the state and the tribe failed to push through. This disagreement was further confirmed by the $91.4 billion budget outlined by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Gambling was not included in the budget pointing out that the two parties could not come to a mutual agreement.
Legalizing of sports betting in Florida, California and Texas will be a big deal as they are the top three largest states. Florida in particular has a rising population, a couple of big cities and houses the sports league’s nine franchises.
Florida also has top-tier college programs like the University of Miami, University of Florida and the Florida State all which will contribute to the success of Brande’s legislation if passed.
The Senator’s proposal came days after California’s tribal operators announced their push for a sports betting legislation come 2020.
Since Brande’s SB 968 still does not have companion legislation, Florida’s aspirations to join other legal sports betting states still has a long way to go.
The state’s calendar will also play a part in the legislation bill’s success. Florida Senate usually meets for sixty consecutive days in even numbered years like 2020.
What this means for the bill is that the earliest it could be heard is on January 14th 2020. To have the bill on the special session is not something to count on because it is wholly dependent on the governor or a joint agreement between the Senate President and House to call for a legislative meeting.
Moreover, special legislative sessions in Florida have to be approved by 60 percent of the houses for it to be passed.