The NFL is one of the biggest organisations in the sports world. As a result, it’s a magnet for gamblers who want to an extra layer of excitement to games. Although the US has a complicated history with wagering, several states across the country have made the vertical legal, enabling residents and visitors to access numerous markets.
Unfortunately, Florida hasn’t officially legalised sports betting in the Sunshine State. With the NFL campaign advancing at a rapid pace, lots of people are wondering whether they will finally be able to gamble in football fixtures this season.
The Process Is Underway
Let’s start with the positives. Details surrounding Florida sports betting are complicated, making it hard to understand what is happening and when it will occur. However, the important thing to remember is that the sports wagering industry has the backing of key players. This wasn’t the case as recently as December 2020, when the SB392 bill was on the rocks.
By April 2021, however, the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis came to an agreement with the Seminole Tribe, making the prospect of legal sports betting in Florida more likely. By May, the House had approved the bill and Gov. DeSantis signed off on the deal, sending it to the US Department of the Interior for consideration. The Department of the Interior published it in its Federal Register in August 2021.
Where Does That Leave Floridians?
While Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe are on board, there are some people and organisations that have tried to derail the bid. The most significant was Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who objected on the grounds that the bill was outside the power of Florida’s Constitution and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Gelber wasn’t the only person to battle against the bill. West Flagler Associates, for instance, have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior. If it’s successful, an injunction may stop the bill from coming into effect in Florida. Another suit that includes West Flagler Associates, the No Casinos group, and several Floridian individuals and businesses has been lodged in Federal court in DC.
FanDuel & DraftKings Join Forces
A silver lining on the horizon is the relationship between FanDuel and DraftKings. As the two largest betting brands in the US, they are usually competing against one another. However, the situation in Florida means they have joined forces to initiate a ballot in the Sunshine State.
A total of$20 million was invested – $10 million each – in the Florida Education Champions political committee, the main legal hurdle that may unravel the deal between DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe. The money has been well-received and may convince the committee to drop its legal challenge in Florida. Of course, whether that is the case remains to be seen.
Light on the Horizon
A couple of start dates have been put back already, and representatives for the Seminole Tribe aren’t confident regarding the upcoming October deadline. Still, the middle of November could well be a date where sports betting in Florida finally goes live. This is because a mobile betting app is due to launch that will allow Floridians to wager on sports like people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania do.
Seeing as the NFL calendar runs until February – the end date is a week later this campaign – football betting in Florida may well be available this season.