Fantasy Sports May Be Coming to the Sunshine State
Fantasy sports may be coming to the Sunshine State thanks to a potential new gaming deal between the Florida legislature and the Seminole Tribe.
Lawmakers have proposed a deal with the Seminole Tribe to extend a 20-year blackjack exclusivity contract in exchange for allowing the state to offer designated-player games and fantasy leagues, like DraftKings. It would also permit craps and roulette at Seminole casinos.
Previously, most types of gambling, such as table games, have been the exclusive domain of Seminole-operated casinos in Florida. In return, the tribe pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the state in a revenue sharing agreement, also called a tribal compact.
But then came the Supreme Court’s PASPA hearing, which could potentially make all forms of gaming legal. If PASPA is overturned, Florida lawmakers want to offer online gaming through the state—a move that the Seminole Tribe finds to be in violation of the compact.
In December, the Seminole Tribe presented a letter to lawmakers warning that pending bills that would declare fantasy sports legal would violate the state’s deal with the tribe.
Since then, lawmakers have been searching for a compromise with the tribe, and may have finally found it in a 20-year proposed exclusivity extension. It would also allow the tribe to have exclusive rights to offering roulette and craps at its six gaming locations.
Seminole tribal members have not yet voted on the deal, but lawmakers are optimistic.
“We’re close on the structure of an agreement, but we still need to look into the details,” state Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast, a sponsor of the current gambling deal, told the Florida Sun Sentinel.