If Sports Betting Is Going To Happen In Florida, It’s Going To Have To Come Via Seminole Hard Rock

Florida voters just made it harder to alter its legislation concerning gambling. What does that mean for the future of sports gambling from the state?
Florida and Amendment 3
On election night, as the majority of the country was watching to see if there was going to become an ideological change in Congress, many in the gaming industry were seeing another race in Florida.
This race did not entail the election of an individual; the race was for Florida Amendment 3, a ballot measure that could shift the power from legislators to voters to authorize brand new casino gaming in the state.
The language of this step was as follows:
«This amendment ensures that Florida voters will have the exclusive right to choose whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gaming to be approved under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters pursuant to Article XI, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Affects articles X and XI. Defines casino gaming and explains that this amendment doesn’t conflict with federal legislation regarding state/tribal compacts.»
Where did the gaming amendment come from?
Only two counties in Florida permit for»card games, casino games, casino games, and slot machines» in non-tribal owned centers.
In 2004, ahead of the present tribal compacts, under the opinion of then-Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida voters in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties passed a ballot initiative which enabled for slot machines in racing and jai-alai facilities, which had functioned in the 2 years prior.
The amendment effectively means that in order for the state to expand casino gaming beyond the tribal casinos and present racing and pari-mutuel facilities, voters in Florida would have to initiate the procedure by collecting enough signatures to get the request added to a ballot.
«In Florida, the number of signatures necessary for an initiative is equivalent to 8% of those votes cast in the preceding presidential election. Florida also includes a touch supply demand, which requires that signatures equal to 8% of their district-wide vote in at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts have to be gathered.»
For reference, the 2016 Presidential election had 9,419,886 votes cast. Eight percent of the vote total is 753,591 signatures needed in order to acquire a casino expansion measure on a future ballot. This is an intimidating endeavor, without considering the demand for geographical distribution, which can be demanded.
There are, though, a couple of Florida-based groups that might have the ability to back a campaign of sufficient size to gather these votes at a time later on. Two which come into mind are Disney and the Seminole Tribe. Indeed, both Disney and the Seminoles were important backers for passing Amendment 3, allegedly putting in tens of millions of dollars to support the measure’s passage.
The opposition saw support from smaller gambling providers such as West Flagler Associates and Hialeah Park, as well as the Miami Dolphins, that (in)famously tweeted out an image that implied the passage of Amendment 3″would block any chance for lawful sports betting from Florida.»
In the event the language of Amendment 3 appears complicated, that is as it’s. The language used in the Amendment scored a grade-level rank of 24 (the equivalent of having 24 years of formal education or sufficient time to make a Ph.D.) according to Ballotpedia, which ranks the readability of all ballot measures. Amendment 3 has been worded more complexly than many others, together with the average ballot scoring between 19-20.
It doesn’t require a Ph.D. to realize that the Amendment does not mention sports. So, does that mean that Florida can start sports gambling soon?
Not really.
What’s’casino gambling’?
According to Ballotpedia, Amendment 3 defines casino gaming as card games, casino games and slot machines. There is no mention of sports gambling. Therefore, while it may seem that Amendment 3 leaves open the question of whether Florida can offer sports betting, it fails the far larger problem, that the State of Florida includes a Class III gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe.
Sports betting is Class III gambling according to this Federal Register:
Class III gaming means all forms of gaming that are not class I gaming or class II gaming, including but not Limited to:
(a) Any home banking game, such as but not limited to —
(1) Card games like baccarat, chemin de fer, blackjack (21), and pai gow (if performed house banking matches );
(2) Casino games like roulette, craps, and keno;
(b) Any slot machines as defined in 15 U.S.C. 1171(a)(1) and electronic or electromechanical facsimiles of any game of chance;
(c) Any sports gambling and parimutuel wagering including but not limited to wagering on horse racing, dog racing or jai alai; or
(d) Lotteries.
While Amendment 3 doesn’t restrict sports betting, the present compact involving the Seminole Tribe and the State of Florida could impose some restrictions.
What’s from the Florida gaming streamlined?
The Compact, which was signed in 2010 between the Seminole Tribe and the state (it had been amended in 2015 to add authorization for extra games), said:
«It is in the best interests of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida for the State to enter into a compact with the Tribe that acknowledges that the Tribe’s right to offer certain Class III gaming and provides substantial exclusivity of such actions along with a sensible revenue sharing agreement between the Tribe and the State that will entitle the State to significant revenue participation.»
From the»Covered Games» part of the compact, there Is Not Any mention of sports betting, but there is a statement that would seem to cover sports betting as within the covered games section:
«Any fresh game approved by Florida law for any person for any purpose, except for banked card games approved for any other federally recognized tribe pursuant to [the] Indian Gambling Regulatory Act, provided that the tribe has land in federal trust in the State at February 1, 2010.»
The tribe and the state agreed that the»Tribe is authorized to run Covered Games on Indian Lands….» While Section IV of this compact excludes numerous games including roulette and craps (which were subsequently allowed) there is no mention of sports betting, as explicitly excluded.
The streamlined identifies seven Seminole-owned casinos which could be enlarged or replaced but doesn’t authorize new construction beyond the present lands. In addition to abiding by state-sanctioned gaming principles, the tribe, in exchange for»partial but Significant exclusivity,» agreed to pay:
$12.5 million each month during the first 24 months of the arrangement;
After that, 12 percent of net wins on all sums up to $2 billion;
15 percent on net wins between $2 and $3 billion;
17.5 percent on internet wins between $3 billion and $3.5 billion;
As much as 25 percent on all amounts larger than $4.5 billion each earnings sharing cycle.
These payments are due on the 15th of each month for twenty years from the initiation of the compact.
What about online gaming?
For those expecting for internet gaming, there is a clause in the streamlined that says if the state law is altered to offer online gaming and tribal gambling revenue drops more than five percent from the previous twelve monthsthe tribe has to considerably decrease their payments into the state under the bonded minimums. But, this will not apply if the tribe provides online gambling, subject to state consent.
In case the Seminole Tribe loses exclusivity, the state of Florida will be looking for a new source of earnings. Part XII Section A. of the Compact states:
«If, after February 1, 2010, Florida legislation is amended by action of the Florida Legislature or an amendment to the Florida Constitution to allow (1) the operation of Class III gambling or other casino-style gaming at any location under the jurisdiction of this State that wasn’t in operation as of February 1, 2010, or (2) new forms of Class III gaming or other casino-style gaming which weren’t in operation at February 1, 2010.»
If this occur, the tribe is eligible to cease some of their payments until such gambling is no longer operated. In the same way, if existing non-tribal facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties extend their Class III offerings, the Seminole Tribe can decrease some of their payments to the state also.
So, about sports betting…
It’s not likely that Florida will see sports gambling being provided by any thing other than the Seminole Tribe.
The gaming compact negotiated between the state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida is rewarding for the nation and extremely helpful for the tribe. For an summary of how lucrative this compact is to get the State of Florida in 2016, the Seminole Tribe paid over $300 million to the nation. The chance that Florida would endanger even a portion of those payments to authorize something that would generate as small additional state revenue as sports betting is extremely unlikely.
While Florida sports betting fans should not hold their breath for widespread legal sports gambling, the Seminole Tribe could, under the compact, get the ability to offer it at their casinos. Even though the Seminole Tribe has previously expressed an interest in being able to provide sports gambling at its Florida Hard Rock possessions, they’ve been silent on the issue within the state of Florida.
Amendment 3 did not foreclose on any expectation of sports gambling in Florida. However, under the present gaming compact provisions, it would seem to be a costly undertaking for state lawmakers to permit someone aside from the Seminole Tribe to provide it exclusively, a choice that would surely leave facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties unhappy.

Read more: montanayouthrugby.org

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