DeSantis, Ron Re-Election Brings Bad News for Online Sports Betting in Florida!

person's left palm about to catch black dice

Gambling in Florida has always been one of the biggest gray areas when it comes to controversial state laws that have been going up and down on the news in the past decade. Nowadays we are getting as close to a final verdict as much as we can, but unfortunately, it might not be as good as we thought it would be.

Although the fight for FL online gambling laws is anything but done, we recently learned some important information about how it might go. Ron DeSantis, the governor, formally won reelection on Tuesday, November 7. In essence, this means the campaign to legalize online sports betting in Florida is almost over, for the time being, that is!

Naturally, we are unable to make any guarantees. However, we can kind of. Never mind that the results from Election Day are still preliminary. Florida is a heavily Republican state, and the Democratic nominee was a former Republican who didn’t run on a website that supported Florida-friendly online sportsbooks. 

The race has already been called by a number of prominent news organizations, including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, though the state might not be able to verify it just yet. Florida’s governor, DeSantis Ron, will continue in office.

Now that we are aware of this fact, we may predict what the fate of sports gambling in Florida may be, and to be honest, there isn’t much to take in.

Sports betting may very probably return to Florida in the nearish future, but those expecting a revised implementation needn’t hold their breath.

Implicitly Opposing Florida Online Sports Betting, Ron DeSantis

Do not interpret this to suggest that Ron DeSantis opposes all forms of sports betting in Florida. He isn’t, and we already know that.

Last year, DeSantis was in charge of negotiating the gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe, which granted them sole control over sports gambling in Florida. And that arrangement was put into practice.

The Seminoles had access to sports betting on their tribal land for a brief period of time, as well as via an on-site and mobile collaboration with Hard Rock. However, both their utilization of mobile sports gambling on-site and their exclusivity over Florida sports gambling were ultimately challenged. The judge voted in favor of that challenge to end 2021. Since that time, Florida has not allowed sports betting, and its future is still uncertain.

By the wording of the law, DeSantis’ reelection makes no difference at all. The appeal court still has to rule on the issue, and they haven’t given a timetable for their decision. DeSantis is unable to either accelerate them or unilaterally override them. The losing side may still appeal the decision, and there is still a potential that the case may ultimately be heard by the Supreme Court.

In light of this, party influence is crucial in state politics. Additionally, with DeSantis as governor, the Republicans continue to dominate practically all spheres of municipal government. This effectively raises the likelihood that his opinions will predominate in the eventual decision on sports betting in Florida.

And exactly where does DeSantis stand now? 

To understand that, we don’t need to read between the lines. When he mediated the deal with the Seminole tribe, he made it crystal obvious. The compact forbade commercial sports betting, and in addition to that, it forbade other tribes and on-site casinos from entering the Florida sports gambling industry. We can only assume that DeSantis is pushing for that original deal to be reinstated given how important those stipulations were.

The Seminole Tribe’s victory in its re-election of DeSantis is significant.

The Seminole Tribe was expected to prevail in the fight for legalized sports betting in Florida as early as November, according to industry analysts. Now, those forecasts seem like unbreakable promises.

Maybe even those predictions were influenced by the elections. The fact that many predicted “Ron DeSantis and the Seminoles” would win demonstrates how entwined they have become. His reelection ensures that the Seminoles will continue to be supported by the most influential voice in the state.

Only a singular Seminole casino was permitted to provide sports wagering in Florida under the previous regulations. No other casinos had the authority to accept wagers. This similarly holds true for both physical and online commercial sportsbooks. 

The Seminoles offered a mobile sports betting option despite the gaming compact forbidding it. They contend that a Seminole-endorsed app constitutes a development of their traditional territory.

This reasoning might not even hold up in court, as numerous attorneys have noted. Yet at this stage, it won’t change the outcome all that much in the end. The Seminoles are on course to recover exclusive Florida sports gambling rights, even if they do not keep the ability to let customers use their sports betting app off-site.

Will Florida Ever Allow Online Sports Betting?

Most of the time, in fact, we’d say “Florida online sports betting will be allowed ultimately.” It’s too prominent all through the rest of the Nation to remain latent in one of the country’s greatest markets. In these situations, it’s better to default to “Never say never.”

However, the gaming agreement Ron DeSantis inked with the Seminole Tribe is meant to last for thirty years. You did indeed read that accurately, thirty years. How many more birthdays will Leonardo Dicaprio celebrate before the legislation is put into place?

There is a very slim likelihood that Florida will be able to extend its legal gambling legislation to cover commercial and online organizations if the Seminoles maintain their exclusive hold on the state’s sports gambling rights for that long.


person holding white and black playing cards

The notion that there are alternative options is a small ray of hope for the residents of Florida. Many of the top online sportsbooks still enable accounts and quick transaction processing for users from across the United States. Additionally, there are other nearby states that Floridians can visit and participate in legal sports betting.

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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